Tropicanniversary: 50 Years of Tropicana Lanes

January 28, 2011

Right Up Your Alley: The Tropicana turns 50, so let’s honor its MCM fabulousness!

Wednesday February 2 from 6 – 9 pm
Tropicana Lanes, 7960 Clayton Road

All are welcome!

• The Tropicana owner, Tino DiFranco, is turning over 26 lanes to Modern STL fans and lowering the price!

• Half price drink specials on White Russians!

• Atomic-centric raffle items!

• Tino and our President, Michael Allen, will present a program on the history of the Tropicana and bowling culture in St. Louis!

• Modern STL swag will make its debut (and if you’re already a member, it’s deeply discounted)!

If you have not already joined Modern STL, this event is a great opportunity to do so while meeting fellow lovers of mid-century modern design.

See the Modern STL web site for more details.

Volunteers and Sponsors Needed for Upcoming Route 66 is 85 Art and Writing Competition

January 27, 2011

In order to raise awareness about Route 66 in the St. Louis area, St. Louis Transitions and Metro South Arts Council are sponsoring an upcoming art and writing contest for students in the Metro St. Louis area who will be in Middle School (6th through 8th graders) and High School (9th through 12th graders) as of September 30, 2011.  The contest will be open to students in all 17 Metro St. Louis counties and includes public, private and home schooled students.

Detailed guidelines will be released on April 30, 2011 and students will have the summer to research Route 66 and work on their entries. Entries will be due September 30, 2011. Judges include Linda Green-Metzler, Luanne Rimel, Connie Copley, Judy Moticka, and Dr. John Oldani. Many of the entries will be displayed at the Metro South Arts Council space at Crestwood Court .Winners will be announced at a reception celebrating Route 66’s 85th birthday on Friday, November 11, 2011.

Help from the community is needed: Sponsors are needed for the 12 prize categories, tentatively set at the $125 to $500 range. In addition, donations are needed to help with the contest and reception expenses. Please make your tax deductible donation payable to Metro South Arts Council (memo Route 66 contest) and mail checks to: Metro South Arts Council c/o Lindbergh High School 4900 S. Lindbergh Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63126.  Donations in any amount are greatly appreciated.  We also need a few volunteers to help with fundraising, mailings, answering questions from schools, and to help with the reception.

Route 66 Art prints for sale: As another way to raise funds for the contest, St. Louis Transitions has just released The Route 66 St. Louis Landmarks Series, a limited edition set of 100 art prints. The set features six local Route 66 treasures, some still standing and others only a memory: the Chain of Rocks Bridge, Ted Drewes, the Coral Court, the 66 Park-In Theatre, the Red Cedar Inn, and the Diamonds. St. Louis Transitions commissioned the paintings by Canadian artist Adam Connors in conjunction with the release of the book, Route 66 St. Louis: From the Bridges to the Diamonds. Each print is signed and numbered by the artist and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. The prints are $25 each and may be purchased individually or as a complete set by visiting

For more information on the contest, sponsoring one of the prize categories, or how you can help, please contact Norma Maret Bolin at 314-749-3970 or

New Book About Route 66 in St. Louis Now Available on Friends of the Mother Road Web Site

July 31, 2010

by Kip Welborn

Things to Look for On Route 66 in St. Louis

Things to Look for On Route 66 in St. Louis

Our organization is offering for sale a book I penned called “Things to Look for On Route 66 in St. Louis.” It is a book that I hope will guide you down the many alignments that Route 66 takes through the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County-from the Illinois suburbs on the “Eastside” to the Franklin County Line (and will hopefully compliment the new signs that you will find cruising Route 66 in St. Louis courtesy of the Route 66 Association of Missouri). It also points out various “places to look out for” while you are cruising the different alignments, as well as other tidbits about Route 66 in St. Louis. The Book is divided up into the “Salisbury” alignment (which crossed the McKinley Bridge), the “Chouteau” alignment (which crossed the Municipal/MacArthur Bridge); the “Official/Bypass Route” (which crossed the Chain of Rocks Bridge and went around St. Louis); the “City” Route (which crossed the Chain of Rocks and Municipal/MacArthur Bridges and went through the City of St. Louis.); and the later Routes which crossed the Veterans and Poplar St. Bridges. While not every twist and turn in these alignments is covered, you will hopefully see not only most of Route 66 in St. Louis but also a lot of what this great City has to offer.

The book sells for $10.00. Mailing costs are an additional $2.25. A couple of bucks will go towards putting the book together, and the rest will go to Friends of the Mother Road, Inc. for preservation efforts (including its efforts to preserve the Luna Motel Sign in Mitchell, IL). It is in black and white and bound so that it is easy to flip the pages while you are cruising.

Here’s a chance to figure out Route 66 in St. Louis and how to help icons on our Beloved Mother Road all at once. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery.

Friends of the Mother Road, Inc., thanks you for your patronage and your contribution to its preservation work….Kip Welborn, Friends of the Mother Road, Inc.

Visit web site to buy

Upcoming Meeting in St. Louis, April 17, 2010

March 8, 2010

The Route 66 Association of Missouri will meet on Saturday, April 17, at Grbic Restaurant in St. Louis.

Lunch will be served at 12:00 pm, with the general meeting following. The meeting guest will be Kaisa Barthuli, Acting Program Manager, Route 66 Corridor Preservation Office. Plans are to attend a presentation by Kaisa, to Association Member Michael Griffin of Walter’s Market, for building restoration efforts in connection with the cost-share grant program.

Download the meeting notice and lunch registration form.

National Trust for Historic Preservation Selects St. Louis for 2010 Dozen Distinctive Destinations List

February 18, 2010

Since 2000, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destination program has recognized cities and towns that offer an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes and a strong commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization. In each community, residents have joined together and taken action to protect their town’s character.

See this web page for details, and to vote for St. Louis!

Program Announced for St. Louis Route 66 Festival

September 29, 2009

Celebrate the Mother Road at the second annual St. Louis Route 66 Festival to be held Saturday, October 3, at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, 10950 Riverview Drive, St. Louis, MO, 63137.   The event offers an afternoon of FREE fun and activities on both the Missouri and Illinois sides of the Bridge from 11:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Classic cars will span the length of the bridge. “A honk-off will start the festivities,” said Laura Cohen,  Confluence Partnership Director. “The signal will be ladies and gentlemen, honk your horns!” Visitors will be able to vote for the Fan Favorite Award, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Come visit The Route 66 Association of Missouri’s booth at the Festival!

Read more

Metropolis St. Louis Downtown Walking Tours to Resume for 2009 Season

April 15, 2009

From the Metropolis St. Louis events newsletter:

Date: April 18, 2009
Time: 10:00 AM

Every Saturday 10 a.m. From April-October
$5/Person No Reservations

Uncover the splendor of the architectural masterpieces that have made their home in Downtown St. Louis. Erected in the late 1800’s to the present, these structures were designed by famous architects such as Louis Sullivan, Cass Gilbert, Eero Saarienen, and Phillip Johnson. Experience a journey into the history of St. Louis.

The Western Tour begins at 10 a.m. every Saturday on the sidewalk outside the hotel entrance to Union Station on Market Street. Your tour guide will lead you through the downtown of one of America’s most historic cities. Walk through streets decorated by buildings such as Union Station and City Hall.

The Eastern Tour begins at 10 a.m. every Saturday outside the western entrance to the Old Courthouse, on Broadway between Market and Chestnut, opposite Kiener Plaza. You will learn about the architects, the design, and the history of buildings such as the Old Courthouse, Old Post Office, Wainwright Building, Missouri Athletic Club and many more!

Fit and Healthy on Route 66: River Des Peres Greenway

March 15, 2009
River Des Peres Greenway Trail, looking south just after crossing over Chippewa

River Des Peres Greenway Trail, looking south just after crossing over Chippewa

Let’s face it, Route 66 trips have the potential to be hazardous to one’s waistline. We sit in a car for hours a day and when we stop, it’s often for delicious road food – fried chicken, BBQ, burgers, fries, shakes, mashed potatoes, pie, biscuits and gravy, omelettes, hash browns, onion rings, bratwurst, Cozy Dogs, Mexican food, pizza, breakfast burritos, Ted Drewes concretes, mmmmm! I’m not one to deny myself a treat when I’m on a trip. I’ve also been on a fitness kick for the last couple of months and have been trying to work in some kind of exercise every day. Since I live close to Route 66, a lot of the places I go are convenient to people who might be looking for a place to get some exercise while on a Route 66 journey. This is the first of what I hope will be an ongoing series on places to take a walk or a bike ride to work off a little of that road food.

I had an excellent bike ride yesterday on the River Des Peres Greenway in St. Louis, which is also suitable for walkers. A good place to park is the Metrolink Station at Landsdowne and River Des Peres Boulevard. It’s easily accessible from Route 66. As you’re heading west on Chippewa, shorty after you leave Ted Drewes after having your concrete, you will cross the River Des Peres and come to an intersection with River Des Peres Boulevard. To get to the Metrolink Station, turn right. Park, cross Landsdowne Ave., and start off in a southerly direction on the paved trail that is to the right of River Des Peres Blvd. You will shortly come to a bridge with a sidewalk that crosses over Chippewa where you can get a good view of Route 66 in either direction. Depending on your time and inclination you can keep following the trail for several miles.

Along the way you will see the historic River des Peres Sewerage and Drainage Works, a designated National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Don’t let the name scare you. Although the portion of the river you will see is not in a natural state, it is not ugly or smelly. (Having said that, if anyone asks you to join the River Des Peres Yacht Club, decline.) The river channel itself, rocked in with limestone by WPA workers in the 1930s, is an impressive sight and the small rustic buildings you see here and there are quite attractive. New structures such as entrance gates and bridges have been constructed in a harmonious style. The trail runs parallel to River Des Peres Boulevard in a wide grassy area with scattered trees between the road and suburban neighborhoods. I found the trail to be smooth and suitable for either mountain or road bikes. Enjoy!


Metrolink Station

Map of trail:

View Interactive Map on

My photos from my ride

Enjoy the Architectural Heritage of St. Louis

November 8, 2008

The season for the Metropolis St. Louis Architecture tours has just recently ended, but if you are planning to be in the St. Louis area on any Saturday between April and October next year, I hope you’ll consider joining one of the tours. You will be treated to an educational and inspiring experience where you will walk in the footsteps of history, see buildings from many different eras, and learn about the stories behind them.

Detail of Missouri Pacific Building

Detail of Missouri Pacific Building

On a walking tour, one notices details that are missed while riding in a motorized vehicle. The role that St. Louis, The Gateway to the West, has played in our nation’s history as a transportation hub for water, train, road, and air is evident in all kinds of plaques, tiles, windows, markers, sculptures, and more. Enjoy those details along with the monumental shapes of the large buildings and you’ll get extra enjoyment and appreciation out of your Route 66 journey as you approach the American West.

Here are links to some photos that my Mom and I have taken on the tours:
Carolyn’s photos of the East and West Tours
Lois’s photos of the West Tour

For tour information, please see the Metropolis St. Louis web site:
Downtown Architectural Walking Tours

Donut Drive-In

November 4, 2008

On Saturday, November 1, 2008, members of the Route 66 Association of Missouri gathered at the Donut Drive In on Route 66 in St. Louis to witness the lighting of the newly restored neon sign. Before this night it had been dark for 25 years. Photo by Robert Schulz.

Donut Drive-In on Route 66 in St. Louis

Donut Drive-In on Route 66 in St. Louis