Historic Manor Motel Gets Facelift

 Daily, Illinois  Comments Off on Historic Manor Motel Gets Facelift
Mar 232011
 



Illinois’ 32nd governor, William Stratton, stayed there. Rumor has it that rock star Eddie Van Halen did too.

Today it’s predominately a place for business personnel to attend conferences for the nearby nuclear plants and for refinery tradesmen. But this place also gets frequented by casino clients, race fans and out-of-town guests of Channahon, Minooka and Joliet residents.

Located along the Route 66 alignment in Channahon, Manor Motel has offered travel-weary motorists a comfortable and affordable place to spend the night since 1954.

It all began in 1946 when Walt Anderson, a masonry contractor, bought land and had a vision to build the motel. A year later there was a unit constructed, followed by several others, until the motel officially opened in 1954. Anderson ran the motel until the late 1970s.

“This place is built like a bomb shelter,” said current owner Prakash Silveri, referring to the motel’s structure.

Silveri is the third owner of the motel. He took over the business from Jeff Kowalski in 1998. His current focus is updating all 77 guest rooms, the motel lobby and lounge area. Fresh paint, furniture, carpet and bedding are complete in 52 rooms.

“I want to bring it up to style and get a modern look,” Silveri said.

Rooms with bigger desks are reserved for corporate personnel or job superintendents who need the extra desk space to complete paperwork and other job-related matters, Silveri said.

There are 30 large, spacious — 20-by-14-foot rooms— with 40 king-size bedrooms. Rooms cost between $50 to $60 a night. Jacuzzi rooms run $89.95 during the week and up to $99.95 a night on the weekends. Free, high-speed Internet is offered to all customers.

Virtual tours and information is provided on the motel’s Web site.

Besides the corporate customers, casino clientele and race fans tend to book a room at the Manor Motel because it is close to where they are going for entertainment, Silveri said.

The motel is close to Channahon State Park and to neighboring Joliet, which hosts several events, including Rialto Square Theatre shows and future Joliet Slammers baseball games.

The Hollywood Casino is near Channahon and Rockdale. Harrah’s Hotel and Casino is in downtown Joliet. Chicagoland Speedway hosts NASCAR events and the Indy Racing League, while Route 66 Raceway, next door features National Hot Rod Association events on its drag strip.

Discounts to larger groups are available. Silveri said he has worked with customers and provided discounts for weddings and family reunions. Reasonable, extended-stay rates also are available.

Manor Motel has a concrete pool with radiant heat and underwater lighting but is closed until further notice.

Although Silveri is focused on pouring money into completing the remodeling of the guest rooms, he would like to reopen the pool in the future. The additional expense currently is too much in this economy.

Back in its heyday, the motel pool was used by the Channahon Park District for swimming lessons. Anderson’s son, Carl, recalls the village approaching his father and requesting to use the pool.

“I remember doing maintenance work around the motel grounds and every hour, 20 to 30 kids would be coming in,” Anderson said. “They were coming in by the busloads. It was something for the kids in the community to do.”

Anderson, who still lives down the street from the motel, said his father also built Manor Inn, a restaurant, in 1953.

“The restaurant had a coffee shop, cocktail lounge, dining area,” Anderson said. “It was a pretty classy diner.”
Anderson said his father had a strict dress code for the restaurant on Saturday nights. After 6 p.m., proper attire was required. Men had to wear suits, or they were not allowed to dine.

“I remember a couple of men coming to the restaurant on a Saturday expecting to be served wearing Bermuda shorts,” Anderson said. “My father was pretty rigid, and he turned them away.”

Today the historic building houses Ivo’s Express Bar & Grill. That is where Silveri refers his hungry clients to dine.

Silveri attempted a continental breakfast bar in the past, but some customers were inconsiderate and didn’t clean up after themselves very well. He said he may explore the idea again once the remodeling is completed.

In 1954, Walt Anderson also built a Sinclair gas station and a liquor store across the street from the motel.

“Pops had to build them,” Anderson said. “People needed it”

Silveri plans to preserve the history of the motel through brochures. After he has several framed, he wants to display them in each motel room.

Manor Motel will be remembered by photos and people recalling stories or their visits. And thanks to Silveri, he, too, is keeping the history of Manor Motel alive.

By Vanessa Holloway

Grant Sought to Create ‘Gateway Park’ at U.S. 30 and Illinois 59

 Daily, Illinois  Comments Off on Grant Sought to Create ‘Gateway Park’ at U.S. 30 and Illinois 59
Mar 222011
 



The project would commemorate the spot where Lincoln Highway and Route 66 once met and would preserve a historically significant house.

Plans for a “Gateway Park” at Illinois 59 and U.S. 30 – once the crossroads of Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway – have been revived by the chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission.

Michael Bortell told the Plainfield Village Board Monday that he plans to apply for a $5,000 matching grant from the National Park Service to fund a redevelopment study for the .925-acre site, which is one of the most historic in the village.

The gas station that once anchored the triangle-shaped property was removed last year by the Illinois Department of Transportation as part of the Illinois 59 widening project, Bortell said. A historically significant house known as the Corbin-Bingham-Worst residence remains, as does another house and two detached garages, he said.

The plan would be to restore the historic house as a visitors center, surrounding it with park land and parking for 10 to 12 cars, he said. The other structures would be demolished, he said.

Village trustees had previously charged the historic commission with exploring the creation of a “gateway” at the intersection, but the project stalled when the property owner – G.C. Real Estate of Lincolnshire – set a selling price that was deemed too steep, Bortell said.

Since then, however, Bortell has persuaded G.C. to not only reconsider that price, but to support his effort to land the federal grant and to contribute $2,500 toward the match money needed. The village would provide the other $2,500. The company has also agreed to tear down the non-historic house and the two garages, Bortell said.

Mayor Michael Collins commended Bortell for “single-handedly revising and revisiting all aspects” of the project, which village officials had considered dormant.

Bortell will know by mid-May if he is successful in landing the grant. The project is of particular appeal to him, he said, because it would not only celebrate the only place in the country where two of the most famous cross-county roads intersect but would preserve the land on which the village’s first industrial business, the Dillman Foundry, was built in 1848.

As for the house, it belonged to one of the first families to settle in Plainfield within the first 20 years of the town’s establishment and was home to Plainfield’s second doctor, Oliver J. Corbin.

Bortell admits that part of his motivation is to keep yet another historic house from being torn down, with nothing built in its place. He said he believes it would be very difficult for the property to be used for a commercial business given its shape and size.

If Bortell is successful in landing the grant, it will fund an appraisal to determine the site’s fair market value and pay architects to develop a concept plan for the land and house. Arris Architects and Designers and Upland Design, both located in Plainfield, have committed to doing the job for 50 percent less than their normal fee, Bortell said.

The study would also require assistance from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency in determining the house’s structural integrity. A committee made up of members of the Historic Preservation Commission, Plainfield Village Board, planning department, Plainfield Historical Society, Village Preservation Association and interested neighbors would be formed to develop the plan, he said.

By Karen Sorensen

Denmark Students Stop In Litchfield

 Daily, Illinois  Comments Off on Denmark Students Stop In Litchfield
Mar 072011
 



Nearly 150 Denmark students stopped in Litchfield Thursday night and Friday morning, with 20 identical Four Winds recreational vehicles parked at the Walmart parking lot.

The back of each RV read, “Goin’ Places with Smiling Faces.” The students are currently attending Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark, and are traveling Route 66 across the United States as part of a group project.

When they arrived in Litchfield on Thursday night, they had been traveling for three days from Chicago, and their trip will end in Los Angeles after 30 days.

A total of 31 RVs will make the trip along the Mother Road including 142 students and eight teachers.

Students will be taking pictures of farm buildings, grain elevators, signs, cars, trucks and more as part of both group and individual projects.

They will also focus on the hospitality of various stops along the way, and each student will be responsible for a book about his/her experiences when they return home to Denmark.

Following their stop at Walmart, the group camped for the evening in Honey Bend before continuing their trip

Let’s Show Ernie We Care!

 Daily, Illinois  Comments Off on Let’s Show Ernie We Care!
Feb 152011
 



Ernie Edwards of Pig Hip Resturant fame is currently in a nursing home and we really believe cards and notes would help cheer him up.



You can address them to:
Ernest Edwards
c/o St.Clara’s Manor
Room 217
200 Fifth Street
Lincoln, IL 62656

Thank You on behalf of his family.
Another Thank You to the Route 66 Association of Illinois for bringing this idea to light!!

Mural design picked – Route 66 in Pontiac

 Daily, Illinois  Comments Off on Mural design picked – Route 66 in Pontiac
Feb 082011
 



Pontiac, Ill. — The design for a new mural in downtown Pontiac was approved by the City Council at its meeting Monday night.

The mural, which will be located on the west side of the Encore Shoppe building, was originally scheduled to be designed by the renowned Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire. However, Waldmire died in late 2009 before he could complete the mural. The mural just approved will now honor Waldmire and incorporate his likeness and his work into the overall design.

The mural will be finished and dedicated during the the annual Red Carpet Corridor celebration on Mother’s Day weekend, May 6-8 2011.

Ellie Alexander of the city’s Tourism Bureau asked the council’s persmission to commission a mural depicting the last art work of Waldmire. Waldmire’s family donated his two vehicles, a bus which is located behind the Route 66 museum, and a Volkswagen van, located inside the museum.

The 66-foot-long mural will be made up of 16 panels, most 8-feet-high, except the three last panels to the south, which will be several feet higher.

Diaz Sign Art was given $15,000 to complete the project. Like the WallDog murals of 2009, Pontiac residents and area artists will be invited to paint some of the mural as well.

Copyright 2011 Pontiac Daily Leader.

Red Carpet Corridor to Issue Route 66 Passport

 Daily, Illinois  Comments Off on Red Carpet Corridor to Issue Route 66 Passport
Feb 012011
 

It is all about family fun on the most famous road in America – Route 66. This year’s Red Carpet Corridor Festival will take place on Saturday, May 7, from 8 AM to 5 PM, and Sunday, May 8, from 8 AM to 3 PM. Sponsored by the twelve communities which make up the 90-mile linear museum from Joliet to Towanda, the annual festival invites everyone to experience the good life in the slow lane.

Each community will produce its own events. From full-blown festivals to antique and craft sales, art sales, car and motorcycle shows, live entertainments, and plenty of yard, garage, and sidewalk sales along the way, everyone is sure to discover something unique. New this year is the Red Carpet Corridor Passport. Inside the passport are listings with information about each individual town’s weekend events. Travelers can pick up their passport at their first stop and then have their passport stamped in each of the towns they visit.

Food, snacks and treats will be in abundance, and there are plenty of historic sites, outstanding free museums and unique mom & pop businesses to help create a nostalgic journey for all to enjoy. Visitors can simply enjoy the drive, or stop and get out of the car to paint a mural, have their picture taken with Elvis, or do a little shopping in any of the great stores along the Mother Road.

For more information, visit the website at www.il66redcarpetcorridor.org
Or contact Ellie Alexander: (815) 944-5847 or email: tourism@pontiac.org.

Pontiac fest will honor Route 66 artist

 Daily, Illinois  Comments Off on Pontiac fest will honor Route 66 artist
Jan 312011
 

Pontiac IL will dedicate its Red Carpet Corridor Festival to the memory of a Route 66 icon, the late Bob Waldmire.

The festival, Saturday, May 7, and Sunday, May 8, will include the painting of a mural designed by Waldmire, tours of the Waldmire school bus mobile home, a fine arts show and sale on the Livingston County Courthouse Square and a display of some of the classic cars that will be included in the new Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum and Resource Center.

Waldmire was born near Springfield in 1945 and died in December 2009. His passion for Route 66 began in 1962 when his parents took the entire family on a motoring trip to California via Route 66.

He later spent the rest of his life traveling along Route 66 in either his school bus mobile home or 1972 Volkswagen van. Both the van and the school bus are on display in Pontiac at the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Pontiac. During the Red Carpet Festival, the Waldmire school bus home will be opened to the public for the first time.

Waldmire supported his nomadic and eclectic lifestyle by painting and drawing for clients along Route 66, the “Mother Road.” His artwork is famous worldwide and Pontiac has one of his Route 66 road maps painted inside the Route 66 Museum.

During this year’s festival, Waldmire’s last commissioned mural project will be painted. He was asked to design and paint a mural for downtown Pontiac, but his illness prevented him from completing that task. Instead, he designed the mural and the public will be invited to come downtown during the festival to help paint the 66-foot map of the entirety of Route 66. The Diaz family, owners of Diaz Sign Art, will oversee the project.

In keeping with the festival’s theme of art and the Mother Road, the Livingston County Courthouse Square will be the scene of an art show and sale. Artists from around the Midwest, including some Walldogs, will display and sell original art.

For more information, contact Ellie Alexander, director of Pontiac Tourism, at 815-844-5847.

Busy year for the Route 66 – Mother Road

 Daily, Help Route 66, Illinois  Comments Off on Busy year for the Route 66 – Mother Road
Jan 252011
 



LINCOLN — 2011 looks to be another exciting year for Route 66 in Logan County. The Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County is busy, along with the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County, in promoting Route 66 in grand style statewide.

The foundation hustled to finish up a National Park Service grant in 2010 that helped fund some major repairs at The Mill. Foundation repairs, windows and electrical service, along with a newly refurbished floor, was just some of the work done to help move The Mill one step closer to opening as a museum in 2011.

Local help, teamed up with many members of the Route 66 Association of Illinois, worked hard to meet the grant deadlines. The group continues to deal with the challenge of funding issues, but makes up for it with diligence and hard work aimed at seeing the Route 66 icon opened up as a museum that will house Route 66 history in Logan County. This extensive amount of work could not have occurred without also a generous grant from The Danner Trust and an extremely generous donation from local philanthropist Larry Van Bibber.

To continue its mission of restoring The Mill, the foundation once again will hold the Annual Route 66 Garage Sale. Without project manager Bruce Huskins, who stepped down after 2010’s event, the future of the sale was unknown. With careful consideration, Geoff Ladd, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County, stepped up to manage the event that now is booked for May 13 and 14 with some changes in store. All proceeds from this countywide event will go toward The Mill restoration project.

Additionally, the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau is pleased to announce the return of the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame banquet on June 11, to be hosted at Lincoln College in the new Lincoln Center. This several-hundred member statewide organization will be celebrating Route 66 with a special tribute to the late famed Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire, as well as enjoying Lincoln and Logan County, a great location that includes a vast amount of Route 66 history along a 37-mile stretch of the Mother Road.

The Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County was formed with the intention of bringing together community members who are passionate about Route 66 and its history in Logan County. It is a group that always is accepting new members and volunteers.

For details on these events or for information on how to get involved, call 217-732-8687.

Copyright 2011 Lincoln Courier. Some rights reserved

Route 66 Association of Ill. Hall of Fame banquet in Lincoln June 11

 Daily, Illinois  Comments Off on Route 66 Association of Ill. Hall of Fame banquet in Lincoln June 11
Jan 212011
 

Story from the Lincoln Daily News – wish I could attend this one!

This looks to be another exciting year for Logan County and Route 66. The Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County is busy, along with the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County, in promoting Route 66 in grand style statewide.

The tourism bureau announces that the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame banquet will return to Lincoln on June 11. The event will be hosted at Lincoln College in their new Lincoln Center. This several-hundred-member statewide organization will celebrate Route 66 with a special tribute to the late famed Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire, as well as enjoying Lincoln and Logan County, which includes a vast amount of Route 66 history along a 37-mile stretch of the Mother Road.

As previously announced, the Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County has decided to once again host the annual Route 66 Garage Sale. Without project manager Bruce Huskins, who had stepped down after the 2010 event, the future of the sale was unknown. But after careful consideration Geoff Ladd stepped up to manage the project that is now booked for May 13 and 14 with some changes in store. All proceeds from this countywide event go toward the restoration of The Mill.

The Route 66 Heritage Foundation hustled to finish up a National Park Service grant in 2010 that helped fund some major repairs at The Mill. Windows, electrical service and foundation repairs, along with a newly refurbished floor, were just some of the work done to help move The Mill one step closer to opening as a museum this year. Local help, teamed up with many members of the Route 66 Association of Illinois, were hard at work to meet the grant deadlines. The group continues to deal with the challenge of funding issues but makes up for it with diligence and hard work aimed at seeing the Route 66 icon opened up as a museum that will house Route 66 history in Logan County.

This extensive amount of work could not have occurred without also a generous grant from The Danner Trust and an extremely generous donation from local philanthropist Larry Van Bibber.

Route 66 10K – Edwardsville, IL

 Daily, Illinois  Comments Off on Route 66 10K – Edwardsville, IL
Jan 162011
 

Date
Saturday, June 11, 2011 @ 8:00 AM

Address
Edwardsville City Park & Library
112 S Kansas St




Registration Closing Date
Thursday, June 09, 2011 @ 11:59 PM

Brief Description
Come join us for the 5th Annual Route 66 10K run / walk on Saturday, June 1th, 2011. This event will be once again part of Route 66 Festival hosted by the City of Edwardsville. The Route 66 10K is hosted by the Metro Milers Running / Walking Club.

The Mother Road 10K course
The Route 66 10K starts in downtown Edwardsville and travels through Edwardsville’s neighborhoods for the first 2 miles then cruises on the beautiful MCT bike trails for 3.5 miles. Then travels back to the Edwardsville City Park to finish where runners and walkers celebrate at the post-race festival. USATF course certification pending.

Awards
Large Custom Route 66 Road Sign awards! Top 3 Overall Male & Female Champions and Master Male & Female Champions. 3 Route 66 medals to Top 3 in following age groups for both men and women – 14 & under, 15-19 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+.

RCAA IL State 10K Championship
The 2011 Route 66 10K play host to the Road Runners Club of America Illinois State 10K Championship. All US citizens are eligible.

Race Packet Pickup
Early Packet Pickup – Friday, June 10th from 10am to 8pm. Race Day – Stage area from 6:30am to 7:45am.

Wednesday Night Training Runs
Join us every Wednesday evening for our training runs starting April 6th. We meet at the Edwardsville Library parking lot at 6:30pm and run the Rt 66 10K course. Post run water provided by the Metro Milers.

Cancellation
Entry fees are non-refundable. Once we receive and accept your entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate. You may transfer your entry to someone else. Contact race management for more details.

Additional Information
The 2011 Route 66 10K is playing host to the Road Runners Club of America Illinois State 10K Championships. USATF certification pending.

More Information
Click HERE to view the event organizer’s website