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


National Scenic Byway Foundation Webinar on Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 16, 2012
National Scenic Byway Foundation

From the National Scenic Byway Foundation:

“Over the past few months, the National Scenic Byway Foundation has been working closely with the America’s Byways Resource Center to create a new website that will launch this month. As you may already know, the National Scenic Byway Foundation will be taking ownership or custodianship of many of the publications, tools and trainings developed by the Resource Center. The new website will feature those materials and continue to keep them available for byway volunteers, leaders and coordinators. The website will also contain new marketing tools and will provide links to additional resources for byways.

To introduce the new website and allow people to become familiar with it, the Foundation, along with the Resource Center, will be hosting a webinar for everyone in the byway community. The webinar will be held on Tuesday, July 17 at 1:00 PM Central Time. You can register for the webinar here.

All who register will be allowed to participate. Please join the National Scenic Byway Foundation as we introduce you to this new and valuable resource for the byway community.


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


Missouri Route 66 Corridor Management Plan Released

May 15, 2012

The development of this document, the Missouri Route 66 Corridor Management Plan, has been the undertaking of the Route 66 Association of Missouri, funded by the Federal Highway Administration, and administered by Missouri Department of Transportation. The document was prepared by Great River Associates under the direction of Spencer Jones, P.E. and Jerany Jackson, ASLA, MBA.

The ultimate intent of this document is to recognize, protect, and promote Missouri’s Route 66 as one of America’s most outstanding roads. All the information discussed has been compiled into this corridor management plan in an effort to identify the significance of Missouri Route 66.

This plan is a required step in the Missouri Route 66 formal application for the National Scenic Byway Program. This program recognizes two types of byways; National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads. It is the goal of this document
to represent that the Missouri Route 66 meets and exceeds the requirements for recognition as an All-American Road. Recognition as such accesses funding opportunities that will highlight and market the intrinsic resources of the Route thereby creating interest and economic growth along the corridor.

Read the Plan

Volume I

Preface

Introduction

History

Public Involvement

Intrinsic Resources

Corridor Mapping

Existing Conditions

Wayfinding

Education

Marketing & Promotional Branding

Economic Development

Toolbox

Appendix

Driving Map

Volume II

St. Louis County

Franklin County

Crawford County

Phelps County

Pulaski County

Laclede County

Webster County

Greene County

Lawrence County

Jasper County


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.


Preserving Route 66 is a Good Investment for the Future

April 2, 2012

$132 million spent per year in communities along Route 66

A recently completed economic impact study shows that $132 million per year is spent in communities along historic Route 66. This information sheds new light on the importance of heritage tourism and historic preservation along Route 66 as a contributor to local, state, and national economies. Route 66, which runs from Chicago to Santa Monica and is known as the Mother Road, is America’s most celebrated automobile highway, and a symbol of twentieth-century American culture and history. The study was directed by professor David Listokin of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and was carried out between 2008 and 2011 in collaboration with the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and World Monuments Fund, with the support of American Express.

The study demonstrates the tremendous influence tourists have on the economies of towns and cities along the route:

  • More than 85% of Route 66 travelers visit historic places and museums, and these tourists spend $38 million dollars a year in these communities.
  • Heritage preservation, through Main Street revitalization programs and museums, add another $94 million in annual investments.
  • The national impact is an annual gain of 2,400 jobs, $90 million in income, $262 million in overall output, $127 million in gross domestic product and $37 million in tax revenues.
  • At the local level, the restored Route 66-themed motel, restaurant, and gift shop anchor the downtown in many small communities and bring new life and revenue to towns once bypassed by the Interstate Highway System.

In other words, preserving Route 66 is a good investment with significant community and economic benefits.

“This study shows that preserving historic places is important to travelers on Route 66, and brings enormous pride as well as social and economic benefits to those living along the route,” said National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program Manager Kaisa Barthuli. “We will to continue to work with communities and other partners to preserve the special places that tell this vibrant part of American history, which in turn creates valuable economic opportunities.”

“The 2008 World Monuments Watch brought attention to the cultural value of America’s Mother Road,” said World Monuments Fund President Bonnie Burnham. “The Watch was the catalyst for developing this study, which now demonstrates the tremendous economic value tied to those traveling this historic route and argues for investment in preservation.”

The study draws on a wide array of empirical information on Route 66 from the national decennial census, a first-ever comprehensive survey of Route 66 travelers, a Route 66 museum survey, Route 66 case studies, and other sources. The result is a better understanding of the mosaic and dynamics of America’s Main Street, and the identification of opportunities to improve preservation of this resource and to enhance its already significant heritage tourism and economic contribution. The organizations behind the study are currently working to raise awareness of the significant findings among both the private and public sectors. A follow-up event, including industry, government, and others, is being planned for 2012, with a goal of leveraging the new knowledge provided by the Economic Impact Study toward
improved investment and innovative partnerships in heritage tourism and historic preservation.

A Synthesis of Findings of the Route 66 Economic Impact Study, along with a two-volume Technical Report, are available at:
http://www.wmf.org/dig-deeper/publication/route-66-economic-impact-study-synthesis-findings.

Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy at Rutgers
The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is one of the nation’s key centers for the theory and practice of planning and public policy scholarship and analysis. The school was established in 1992 by the Rutgers University Board of Governors to provide a focus for all of Rutgers’ initiatives and programs of instruction, research, and service in planning and public policy. The Bloustein School was ranked No. 3 in the United States in the latest survey of the nation’s top graduate programs in urban planning by Planetizen, a Los Angeles–based planning and development network.
http://policy.rutgers.edu/.

National Park Service, Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program
The National Park Service, Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program was established in 2001 to help preserve the special places and stories of historic U.S. 66. The program collaborates with private individuals, organizations, government agencies, and others to identify and address the priority needs of this historically significant American icon. The program offers cost-share grants to assist with preservation, planning, research, and educational initiatives. Learn more at http://www.nps.gov/rt66/.

World Monuments Fund
World Monuments Fund is the leading independent organization devoted to saving the world’s most treasured places. For over 45 years, working in more than 90 countries, its highly skilled experts have applied proven and effective techniques to the preservation of important architectural and cultural heritage sites around the globe. Through partnerships with local communities, funders, and governments, WMF seeks to inspire an enduring commitment to stewardship for future generations. Headquartered in New York City, WMF has offices and affiliates worldwide. wmf.org,
twitter.com/worldmonuments, and facebook.com/worldmonuments.

American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Historic preservation has long been the hallmark of American Express’ involvement in the community, reflecting the company’s recognition of the importance of cultural sites and monuments as symbols of national and local identity, and the role that their preservation can play in attracting visitors and revitalizing neighborhoods. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress,
foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/companies/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.


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.


Kansas Historic Route 66 Byway receives state designation

November 30, 2011

The Kansas portion of the original Route 66, located in Cherokee County, has been designated as a Kansas Historic Byway. With this addition, Route 66 becomes the eleventh Kansas byway to receive official designation from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

“The designation of Kansas Historic Route 66 will emphasize the important significance of the route in this area for visitors and local residents, encouraging them to drive the route and explore the communities along it,” said Scott Shields, Kansas State Byways Coordinator.

An historic byway must have resources that are historically significant, be numerous, visible and have a setting or character that is complementary to the resources. “We are excited to add Historic Route 66 to the Kansas Byway collection. The route designation provides travelers a chance to view the relationship between the history of the original highway and the landscape and structures that define the area, in a combined effort to promote tourism and economic development, while exploring the natural and cultural importance of the byway communities,” Shields said.

The 13.2 miles of Kansas Historic Route 66 includes paved state, city and county roads, beginning at the Kansas-Missouri state line and following the original Route 66 route through Galena, Riverton and Baxter Springs to the Kansas-Oklahoma state line.

The byway offers opportunities for visitors to enjoy a variety of experiences to “get their own kicks” while driving the original Kansas portion of Route 66, found in the “Ozark Plateau” or Southeast corner of the state. There are museums, collections, murals and ghost writing that tell the local history of life along the route. A traveler can drive over many of the original structures of “The Mother Road,” including the only remaining Marsh Arch Bridge on Route 66, or explore the mining and railroad history of the area. Visitors can have a picture taken with the tow truck that was the inspiration for the character “Mater” from the “Cars” movie or discover Schimerhorn Park and the Southeast Kansas Nature Center south of Galena. They can learn of the importance of hydroelectricity in Riverton or enjoy a stop at the Eisler Brother’s Store, the location of a 1920′s Route 66 gas station. The stories of Baxter Springs include Native American history, early battles of the Civil War, a frontier cattle town and baseball. There are tours offered throughout the year and many dining and lodging facilities available for travelers as well as locations that offer Route 66 memorabilia for sale.

The state designation will result in the placement of Kansas Byway route markers along the byway, the creation of a promotional brochure and inclusion on the Kansas Scenic Byway Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/KSByways. The byway will have a page on the www.ksbyways.org website, a place on the National Scenic Byways website, www.byways.org and the byway will be eligible to apply for National Scenic Byway grants to enhance the route for visitors. With this state designation, Kansas Historic Route 66 will join several other states who’s portion of Route 66 carries the designation of an All American Road, a National Scenic Byway or a state byway including Arizona, Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Missouri.

Renee Charles of Galena and Marla Larison of Baxter Springs are Co-Chairs of the Kansas Historic Route 66 Byway Planning Committee. They submitted the byway application and developed the Corridor Management Plan along with numerous others from the area that are also members of the planning committee.

The Kansas Byways program identifies scenic and historic routes in the state and preserves, enhances and promotes the routes through a cooperative grassroots partnership. For additional information, contact Shields at (785) 296-4149, scottsh@ksdot.org or Sue Stringer, Kansas Byways Public Involvement Liaison at (785) 296-8669 or stringer@ksdot.org.


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