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Gardenway Motel

2958 Missouri 100, Gray Summit, MO

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The Gardenway is one of those motels that is so long it is difficult to get it all in one photo. Louis Eckelcamp started out in 1945 by building a motel with 25 rooms each with tile baths. He named it the Gardenway Motel and expanded it in the early 1950s with the addition of 16 more rooms in a second building behind the original, bringing the total room count to 41. Late in 2014 the Gardenway Motel closed abruptly after 70 years of operation by the same family.

It is located just west of Shaw Nature Reserve / Missouri Botanical Gardens on MO 100 which is the original alignment of Route 66 at that point.
x Probably the most distinctive feature of the motel in later years was the huge GARDENWAY neon sign on the roof. That sign was added to the roof after I-44 opened and siphoned traffic of the old road out front. The apparent hope was that travelers on the freeway would see the sign and pull off. The top bar in the "E" is missing in this photo.

x Another neon sign stands out front by the office. Glass blocks make up part of the lower section of this sign. The name is a take off on the Henry Shaw Gardenway, a portion of Route 66 from St. Louis to the Botanical Gardens in Gray Summit. The road got its name as a tribute to Henry Shaw who was instrumental in the development of the Botanical Gardens.

Photo(s): 2016



x About Us We started traveling Historic U.S. Route 66 as a destination in 2009. It's like a 2,400 mile long drive back in time from Chicago to Santa Monica! more
xDid You Know: Many parts of the old 4 lane Route 66 were reverted to a 2 lane road after 66 was realigned to the interstate. In many places the abandoned lanes are still there.