By Brian Rokos
Now, the motel's owners hope to make the iconic status official. They have applied for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.
"The reason why it should be on the registry is that ... things of this nature have such a unique architecture and design, and it is on Route 66, which is part of the tradition of the old days," said Kumar Patel, who submitted the application in July and helps his father, owner Jack Patel, operate the Wigwam.
Kaisa Barthuli, program manager for the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, said it is significant that the Wigwam was originally owned by Frank Redford, who also owned the first of seven Wigwam Motels that he built across the county.
"As well, that particular property represents an early example of a chain," Barthuli added.
(Paul Alvarez/Special to the Press-Enterprise)