Oct 022012
 






Joliet has really stepped up its game in realizing Route 66 is an important part of it’s town…

An illuminated, interactive “hub” directing visitors to Route 66 tourism sites in downtown Joliet will be erected sometime this fall, Assistant City Manager Ben Benson said.

The kiosk is already in hand and it’s likely location will be somewhere along Ottawa Street, near the Joliet Area Historical Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center, Benson said.

“Many consider Joliet the gateway to Route 66 through Illinois,” he said. “The need we have is to help direct people to visit local attractions.”

The three-part display is one of about 20 that will be installed in towns that dot the “Mother Road” across Illinois, now designated and Illinois Scenic Byway. The idea is for drivers following the historic trail to stop in towns along the way to learn about the road’s history and what Route 66-related sites each municipality has to offer.

Hundreds of people take the Route 66 journey every year, starting at Buckingham Fountain in Chicago and following the highway sections that remain all the way to Los Angeles. Route 66 was one of the first cross-country interstates in the U.S. Highway system, officially opening on Nov. 11, 1926, and formally removed on June 27, 1985.

Berwyn is the first town to put up their commemorative kiosk, and more will be rolled out over the next year in towns such as Wilmington, Lincoln, Pontiac and Carlinville.

Joliet’s display is being funded with a grant from Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the city will use on-staff workers to do the installation and a local electrical company to hook up the wiring, Benson said.

There has been some debate about where Joliet’s sign should go given that southbound Route 66 follows what is now Route 53/Chicago Street through the city. At one point it was to go in at Bicentennial Park because the Heritage Corridor tourism office located there. Ultimately, however, it was decided the best location was near the Route 66 Visitors Center, where most making the pilgimage are likely to stop, Benson said.

Karen Sorensen – Joliet Patch

Sep 062012
 


I remember growing up in Chicago seeing this thing MANY times – it was so out of place, in the middle of a parking lot, with a Ford Pinto literally skinned and spread out on a wall of a store not too far from the spindle. This is a really good idea!!

Berwyn, IL — The Berwyn Arts Council is hoping to bring back a recreated version of The Spindle, which had been an icon for Berwyn for years when it was torn down in 2008.

The sculpture, often referred to as the “car kebab,” stood in the Cermak Plaza parking lot and was featured in the movie “Wayne’s World,” and even an outpouring of support couldn’t save it from demolition.

Unbeknownst to most, the top two cars of the sculpture were saved in a shed behind Cermak Plaza. Now, a movement spearheaded by Berwyn Route 66 Museum and Berwyn Arts Council member John Fey has taken possession of the two cars and is working toward recreating the piece of art.

The cars will need to be restored, and a pole that used to support an Anderson Ford sign already has been secured to hold the two cars.

Once completed, the sculpture will be erected at the parking lot of the Route 66 Museum on Ogden Avenue.

The VW Beetle also will be on display at the Route 66 Car Show on Saturday, where the Berwyn Arts Council will be fundraising for the project.

Fey also said that a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign is in the works to fund the project.

Brett Schweinberg – GateHouse News Service