Show the Love! Campagin to Save Our Historic Route 66 Meramec River Bridge

October 25, 2012

The Route 66 Meramec River Bridge is located in the Route 66 State Park near Eureka, MO. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009, it has not experienced any major alterations since its construction nearly 80 years ago. However, the bridge has fallen into disrepair. Due to safety, the bridge was closed by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), the owner of the bridge, to all traffic. MoDOT had made the initial decision to demolish the bridge but has since partnered with a broad coalition of stakeholders working to preserve the bridge. MoDOT and its preservation partners are now seeking a new owner and funding to save the bridge from demolition by MODOT’s new deadline of December 2016.

More information on how to join this effort: http://meramecriverrt66bridge.greatriv.com


St. Louis County Library Seeks to Demolish Historic Lewis & Clark Branch

July 21, 2012

From Modern STL:

“Of the twenty libraries in the St. Louis County Library (SLCL) system, Moline Acres’ Lewis & Clark Branch stands out for its exuberant modernist design and an architectural pedigree comparable to the finest mid-century buildings in the metropolitan area. Designed by prominent architect Frederick Dunn, FAIA, with Emil Frei Stained Glass windows by artist Robert Harmon, it was completed in 1963 at 9909 Lewis-Clark Boulevard.
 
Lewis & Clark Branch St. Louis County LibraryAfter nearly 50 years in use, the building’s architectural integrity is unparalleled amongst its peers, and it functions as a vibrant hub for the surrounding North St. Louis County community. Such qualifications should give pause when considering the building’s future, yet Lewis & Clark is slated for demolition pending the passage of a massive county bond issue in the fall of 2012.

On November 6, 2012, SLCL will ask voters to approve a $108 million bond issue to enact, among other things, a “proactive” ten-year facilities plan. Upgrades ranging from renovations, to additions, to wholesale replacement are a major part of the system’s strategy as recommended by the New York-based consulting firm Aaron Cohen Associates. The goal is to expand community and collaborative spaces, enhance flexibility, and provide more room for changing technologies. $76.9 million in funds would be allocated to replace eight, or nearly half, SLCL branches within four years, including the beloved Headquarters building in Frontenac. The historic 16,000 square foot Lewis & Clark would be replaced with a new $6.5 million, 20,000 square foot building.
 
Consultants have recommended Lewis & Clark’s demolition since 2008 because of its age and in spite of its excellent condition. The building has benefitted from numerous improvements since 2000, including a new roof, carpeting, HVAC system, parking lot, signage, furniture, and reference area. All of these investments would be lost in demolition, and all for a net gain of only 4,000 square feet. The need for this gain is questionable since the facilities plan also calls for the development of a new 15,000 square foot library building program for certain branches throughout the system. Given that the existing Lewis & Clark is 1,000 square feet larger than this, and in light of the building’s significance, one wonders why this scheme could not be implemented here.

Indeed, of the nine branches marked for renovations to existing facilities alone, seven range between 15,500 square feet and 18,000 square feet, and two serve higher populations than Lewis & Clark. These two, Jamestown Bluffs and Samuel C. Sachs, were built in 1998 and 2002. This indicates a fair amount of ageism in the decision to demolish the comparably sized and populated Lewis & Clark, which features an entirely open floor plan easily adaptable to 21st century needs.
 

Lewis and Clark Branch St. Louis County LibraryWhile most support SLCL’s desire to remain competitive in the fast-moving information age, its current strategy leaves something to be desired. As pointed out by St. Louis County’s Historic Buildings Commission, which opposes the plan, this takes none of these buildings’ architectural merit into account in weighing which should be demolished and which are deserving of renovation and addition. The Lewis & Clark Branch is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places based on its exceptional architectural significance and as a symbol of post-war development in North St. Louis County. Surely the St. Louis County Library system can move into the 21st century while still preserving its significant architectural past.

Your input is crucial!

To write in favor of preserving and renovating the historic Lewis & Clark Branch for future use, send a few words to:

St. Louis County Library Director Charles Pace: cpace@slcl.org

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley: http://www.stlouisco.com/YourGovernment/CountyExecutive/DearCharlie


2012 NPS Route 66 Cost-Share Grant Award Announcement

July 14, 2012

From the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program:

“We are pleased to announce the 2012 National Park Service, Route 66
Corridor Preservation Program Cost-share Grant Awards. The next grant cycle will be open from January to March, 2013.”

Awarded projects:

Hualapai Tribal Route 66 Interpretive Project – Arizona

Flagstaff Route 66 Rest Area Interpretive Project – Arizona

Historic L Motel Rehabilitation – Arizona

Sprague Super Service Window and Door Restoration – Illinois

Boots Motel Roof Restoration – Missouri

Crestwood Bowl Neon Restoration Project – Missouri

Wagon Wheel Motel Roof Replacement – Missouri

Circle Cinema Theatre Façade Restoration – Oklahoma

El Vado Motel Neon Sign Restoration – New Mexico

Del’s Restaurant Electrical Upgrades – New Mexico

Read the entire report here: 2012 NPS Route 66 Cost-Share Grant Award Announcement


Route 66 Icon in Needles Gets a Makeover

April 3, 2012
66 Motel Sign in Needles, CA

66 Motel Sign in Needles, CA

Needles, Calif. – Many folks simply slow down and stare. Some even honk their horns and wave. They are waving to a man, 25′ off the ground painting a sign. And yet this is not your ordinary run of the mill sign. It just happens to be one of Needle’s most famous signs.

Ed Klein came to Needles in January 2011 on a request. The request came from Linda Fitzpatrick, a resident of Needles who was trying to figure out ideas on how to grab the estimated 40,000 travelers who make Route 66 their annual pilgrimage. Her plan was to restore the old abandoned gas station on the corner of Dobson and Broadway – or famously known as ‘Carty’s Camp’.

When Ed and Linda met, the ideas started to flow about how to get travelers to stop and enjoy the history Needles had to offer its Route 66 travelers. After a few hours of brain-storming and several return visits back to the gas station, Ed asked Linda what the plans were for the old 66 Motel sign, as he put it, ‘had seen better days’.

“I looked at the sign and felt it was a shame such a classic and iconic sign as this one on the route was looking as beat down as it did. I had to figure something out,” said Klein. “The restoration of the gas station would be a very large project over a few years, but the sign could be done in a few months.”

Klein is the owner of a website dedicated to the preservation and travel information on Route 66 (route66world.com) and has had his hands in several restoration projects along the route.

After a few weeks of preparation, several phone calls to the 66 Motel owner as well as Linda Fitzpatrick, Klein and his wife set on their 5 hour drive to Needles.

Starting off the weekend was figuring out the old neon and wiring which at one time pumped vibrant life into the glowing sign. Most of it was disconnected, broken, or simply cut.

“We spent a good few hours trying to figure out the wiring and removal of the neon. I need to keep as many pieces intact to have them recreated.” Klein said.

The one factor Klein did not consider was the wind this weekend. Wind gusts of up to 35 MPH hit late in the afternoon and proceeded to continue through Sunday. The wind blew hard throughout the southern part of California and Needles would not the exception. It blew hard enough Klein had to stop the painting early due to fears he might be blown of his 32′ ladder which was leaning up against the sign.

The historic sign will go through a total restoration. Klein told me he will do this in three phases. The first two phases will be painting and getting the neon ready and the third phase will be installing and lighting the neon, which will be the first time it has been on in over 15 years.

This total restoration is not costing the owner of the motel or the town of Needles a dime. Klein said he was paying for the paint out of his pocket as a ‘donation’ to the route and the town, and there will be a fundraising event via his website to raise money to pay for the neon, electronics, and installation.

“You would not believe the wave of support when I mentioned what I wanted to do to this sign. I have heard from travelers all around the world who want to help out with this restoration and there are so many historic businesses along the route who are donating their items for donors. They are all giving back to what we all care about so much, and that is the preservation of a true American icon. You will not meet the nicest, passionate people than those who live on, work on and drive Route 66″ Klein added.


2012 NPS Route 66 Cost-Share Grant season is now open!

January 19, 2012

From Kaisa Barthuli, Program Manager Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program:

“The National Park Service, Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program is now receiving applications for the 2012 Cost-Share Grant season. Applications may be submitted to the program office now through Friday, April 6, 2012.

Additional information and application materials can be found at:
http://www.cr.nps.gov/rt66/grnts/index.htm

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact the program office to
discuss eligibility requirements and project ideas prior to submitting an
application.

Thank you for your support in spreading the word about this grant
opportunity, and helping to preserve the legacy of historic Route 66. We
look forward to seeing more excellent projects get underway this year!”


The Society for Commercial Archeology announces its request for nominations for the 2012 Falling by the Wayside list of the 10 Most Endangered Roadside Places

January 18, 2012

Guidelines for Nomination

Roadside places eligible for inclusion will be those that fall within the scope of SCA’s stated mission: architectural elements and cultural landscapes related to roadways, highways and road culture, including diners, drive-ins, coffee houses, gas stations, motels, hotels, tourist cabins, motor courts, retail centers, theaters, signage, roadside curiosities and folk environments.

A date range is not pre-established; however a nominated place must clearly express historical and community significance.

It must be demonstrated that the roadside place is threatened or in a trend of deterioration that impacts its future.

We welcome nominations from SCA members and the general public. We request, however, that nominators limit their nominations to no more than three candidates.

To nominate a place to the list, please contact SCA’s Falling by the Wayside committee for a nomination form: sca.endangered@gmail.com. The form must be completed and returned by May 15, 2012.


Luna Cafe Neon Sign Re-lighting Party on October 22nd

September 28, 2011

The Route 66 Associations of Illinois & Missouri, and the Friends of the Mother Road, are proud to announce that the official re-lighting date has been set for Saturday,   October 22, 2011, at approximately 6:30 PM, depending on the timing of dusk that evening. Larry Wofford, owner of the Luna Café, is anxiously awaiting this exciting day when his historic Route 66 beacon will again shine like it did during the hey-day of the Mother Road.

He is delighted to welcome all Route 66 roadies to join in the fun and celebrate this exciting event with him. This would not only be a great celebration of the sign but a great way to join fellow road friends …… and make new ones — and it will also constitute a big thank you to Larry for his contribution to the preservation of the Mother Road with the rebirth of this classic sign.

Refreshments will be served, and it is anticipated that a representative from the Illinois State Historic Preservation Agency will be there for this special event, as well local media and community leaders.

Don’t miss the party at the Luna Cafe in Mitchell, Illinois on October 22nd!


Book Signing at the Wagon Wheel Motel on October 7, 2011

September 13, 2011
Book Signing at the Wagon Wheel Motel on October 7, 2011

Book Signing at the Wagon Wheel Motel on October 7, 2011


Wagon Wheel Motel kicks off 75th Anniversary celebration

August 5, 2011

With rooms rented to Route 66ers for the1930’s price of $3.50 a night and 30’s food prices, the Historic Landmark Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Missouri is celebrating its 75th Anniversary on August 20-21 in style. As the oldest motel on Route 66, the Wagon Wheel Café building, gas station, and motel earned its placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

Connie Echols, who bought the old motel in 2009, finished a “hands-on” restoration this spring by redoing all the rooms, adding two decks, and a bike shelter/pavilion. Each room has an authentic feel of a Route 66 motel but with updates of WiFi and flat screen TVs. Rooms are of various sizes and amenities with details on the Wagon Wheel website (www.wagonwheel66cuba.com).

Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Missouri

Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Missouri

Now Echols is ready to celebrate the history of the Wagon Wheel with an Open House and Celebration with a 1930s Bonnie and Clyde theme. Car Clubs have been invited to bring cars of the era to the two-day event that begins with lunch on Saturday, August 20. Vintage dress is encouraged if you would like to get with the spirit of the event.

During the two-day Open House Celebration there will be room tours, games, food, music, book signings by Route 66 enthusiast Joe Sonderman and Wagon Wheel historian Riva Echols, and an explanation of the Route 66 GPS program by its creator River Pilot. Employees of the Wagon Wheel and  families associated with the Wagon Wheel are invited to meet and reminisce on Sunday afternoon. There may be a few other surprises in store for attendees.

“It’s been a long journey getting the Wagon Wheel Motel and Connie’s Shoppe to this point,” stated Echols. Now it’s time to share the results with friends, family, and the Route 66 community. I’m anxious to show off all the progress that we have made and to have a good time.”

Saturday: 1-3 pm Room Tours

Saturday: 2-6 pm Wine tasting

Saturday: All day Croquet / Horseshoes

Saturday evening: Chipping contest

Saturday:  8pm Band

River Pilot, the creator of the Route 66 GPS program is available all weekend to explain his GPS system

Sunday: 11:00 am Joe Sonderman, Route 66 author book signing

Sunday: 1-3 pm Room Tours

Sunday: 1:00 pm Riva Echols: The Wagon Wheel Motel on Route 66 History book signing

Riva will also host a social gathering for employees, families connected to the Wagon Wheel history, and anyone else who might be interested in Wagon Wheel history

Sunday: 2-4 pm Wine tasting

Sunday: 2:00 pm Croquet Tournament

Visit the Wagon Wheel Motel’s 75th anniversary celebration on Saturday or Sunday. Bring your cameras to record another historic event at this Historic Landmark on Route 66.


National Park Service Announces 2011 Cost-Share Grant Awards for the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program

July 20, 2011

The following properties have received awards:

Route 66 Motel – Kingman, Arizona

Ariston Cafe – Litchfield, Illinois

Dell Rhea Chicken Basket – Hinsdale, Illinois

Luna Cafe – Mitchell, Illinois

Sprague Super Service – Normal, Illinois

Meramec River Bridge – Eureka, Missouri

Sunset Motel – Villa Ridge, Missouri

Wagon Wheel Motel – Cuba, Missouri

Round Barn – Arcadia, Oklahoma

Firestone Station – Bristow, Oklahoma

For more details see this PDF -

Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program Funded Projects – 2011


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