Photo by Kathy Alexander, 2011.
The Bel-Aire Motel Sign on Route 66
no longer stands at the original location on 6th Street. The Bel-Aire Motel was establlished in about 1950 by Charles Ciesler with a few cabins and grew from there. At one point in the 1960s, Ciesler planned to convert the Bel-Aire into an six-story motel with a restaurant, tavern, and convention space. However, that never occurred. It was sold in 1986 and almost immediately began to decline. By 2014, the motel had numerous problems including serious ones like mold growing on walls and was riddled with criminal activity by many of its tenants. At that time, the property had been cited for 700 building code violations. The motel, located at 2636 S 6th St was demolished in 2015. There is only an empty lot today. However, the famous sputnik ball sign was salvaged by Ace Sign Company to be restored and included in their neon museum, also in Springfield.