The Wagon Wheel Motel and Restaurant was a famous office and restaurant complex located in Oxnard, California, at the intersection of U.S. Route 101 and Pacific Coast Highway. Its convenient roadside location made it a popular stop for travelers between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, particularly during its heyday in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. It was demolished pending development of 1500 residential units in 2011.
It was considered to be an authentic extant example of American roadside architecture from the mid-century. The ranch-style office, motel and restaurant were originally built on the side of Highway 101 and Highway 101A (Alternate) in 1947. The office/restaurant complex incorporates a variety of roof lines, primarily low to medium pitched gables covered with wood shingles and punctuated by several decorative cupolas with weather vanes, and neon lighting. A free-standing 12-unit, two-story motel addition was completed in 1953. One of the most recognizable features of the motel was the giant neon sign that included an animated stagecoach driver and galloping horses. Today millions of motorists drive by the Wagon Wheel each year on the Ventura Freeway. The Wagon Wheel sits along side the 101 freeway at the northern edge of a site between the Santa Clara River and the Home Depot shopping center (formerly the Esplanade Shopping Center). The site is also home to industrial buildings, a trailer park an... Read More