"This paper will examine authenticity of meaning in the built environment as an expression of the collective interaction of people with spaces over time. Accordingly, the designer's intentions alone cannot guarantee the attribution of specific meanings to space. Unintended meanings attributed to the built environment, then, may be more significant than the meanings intended by design. A study of the ways in which space takes on meaning through human interaction can inform design about the nature of authenticity and architectural space. Authenticity is defined as that which is "real," or "presents itself as it is." Conversely, inauthentic expressions deceive; they are not real. For example, split wood shingles are an authentic use of a material for roofing, but wood grain plastic laminates which only suggest wood are deceptive. Some deceptions, however, are understood as unreal but allow people to see through the sham. These may be considered authentic in their own right: Disneyland is a case in point (Eco, Venturi). This paper will explore the metamorphosis of spatial meaning from authentic to clearly deceptive and back again to authentic. The passage of time plays a crucial role for interpreting the sham as real. Motel architecture along Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico is the focus for studying the metamorphosis from deception to authenticity in the built environment. Authenticity is a property of environmental meaning. Environmental meaning is a function of both process and relationship; both must be present in order for meaning to be attributed to space. This is the result of a long process of user interaction. This interaction is a type of communication. Architecture is also a form of communication. One definition of the language of architecture has been defined as "schemata", collectively understood codes that help users understand and appropriate the environment (Norberg-Schulz). The interaction of people and the environment is the way in which architectural language is communicated and meaning is attributed. When this attribution is particularly powerful, myth may be created. Myth binds people to space: when we occupy space, we interpret it through myth. Route 66 symbolizes the mythic romantic image of travel through America's wide open spaces. The romance of this highway has more recently been replaced by miles of impersonal freeway, yet the myth remains. Along the few remaining stretches of the original highway, those motels which were not demolished have become "authentic" Route 66 architecture: pueblos, haciendas and tipis built from concrete and stucco. How and why has this transition from the authentic to the consciously deceptive back to the "authentic" occurred along Route 66? Are there generic conditions for this transition which can be stated and analyzed? How can designers make places which allow the collective interaction of people and the built environment over time to attribute meanings to spaces?"