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

Aug 212012
 



 

It almost makes sense seeing the way the (electric) car is going – BUT it is VERY pricey to install each charging station….

ATLANTA — It’s back to the future for the village of Atlanta.

Route 66, which runs through the village of 1,600, was the impetus for the original development and growth of gasoline service stations, said Bill Thomas, a director for the Atlanta Betterment Fund, an economic development group based in Atlanta. Now, local leaders think they can jump-start a movement for the next wave of fueling stations, this time for electric cars.

“Prior to Route 66, there really was no established infrastructure of business at which the new traveling public could fill up their car with gas,” Thomas said. “All sorts of other businesses, like hardware stores, grocery stores and general stores, installed gas pumps in front of their establishments where motorists could fill up. What we think of as gas stations didn’t exist. They came when entrepreneurs recognized the need for them and built them as a way of making money from Route 66 travelers.”

The city has installed two EV (electric vehicle) charging stations in the city parking lot, just one-half block from Old Route 66. The charging stations will be available free of charge to the traveling public.

“We’re into the next evolution of Route 66, and we hope that it becomes an opportunity to promote tourism and what we have to offer here,” Mayor Fred Finchum said. “Every time you draw someone to your community, you have a chance of selling something. For a full charge on a car, it takes three to four hours, so people have time to eat, shop, and visit our downtown.”

Thomas and Finchum believe the highway may become a destination for travelers going from St. Louis to Chicago.

Atlanta is the perfect spot for a charging station because it is right in the middle of the state,” Thomas said.

The city purchased and installed the machines, but Finchum said he anticipates they will quickly pay for themselves.

“Our research indicates that the power it takes to charge a vehicle is really pennies on the dollar,” he said.

The machines will be dedicated during a ceremony at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Among the first people to take advantage of the charging stations will be Joe Mikulecky, the Bloomington-Normal Electric Vehicle Task Force chairman.

“For this to work, the timing has to be right,” Mikulecky said, “and I think Atlanta has some foresight to showcase their tourism trade. It’s about public perception and thinking ahead. Electric cars are the wave of the future, and I am anxious to see how this works.”

“What you have with electric vehicles is kind of a ‘chicken and egg’ argument,” said Bill Kelly, the executive director of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Heritage Project. “Electric cars are coming, and Route 66 is a perfect venue for them, because they don’t go as fast as fuel-powered cars. But people need to have the confidence that they can find charging stations, and so the more power stations that are available, the more people will be willing to use the electric cars. It’s a great idea for Atlanta, and I believe it will work well.”

By KEVIN BARLOW – Lee News Service Writer

Jan 212012
 



Arizona officially became my ‘new home’ almost a year and a half ago. Being a city boy from Chicago – they say ‘change is good’ – and brother – they weren’t lying!!

I love all Arizona has to offer (yes, even the dry heat) but what I love is I am sandwiched between two other Route 66 states! In Chicago – we had a condo downtown exactly 2 miles due north of the start of Route 66. While some make think it is great to be in such a location, plesae remember – we were at the START of the route, and for us to see any other part of it – it was a drive!!

Enough about me… we have a magazine down here (for all you non-locals) named Arizona Highways. They also have a television show which I catch weekly, not only to see what Arizona has to offer, but to see if and what they show about Route 66 in Arizona, and to be honest, they have been spot on….

They did the magazine entirely celebrating Arizona’s 100th anniversary as being a state – and loaded up the magazine with pictures.

Here are the ones that involve Route 66 towns and Route 66 itself:












































































































The magazine showed pictures from most of the cities in the state of Arizona – but seeing this is a Route 66 website… well, you know…

Copyright 2012 – Arizona Highways Magazine

Nov 302011
 




Note: When I talked to a few folks in Kansas who are involved with the route a few months ago – they mentioned this was one of the things they were really focusing their efforts on… and it seemed to pay off!! Congrats on this! It takes the route through Kansas to a whole new level!

The state has designated 13 miles of Route 66 in southern Kansas as a Kansas Historic Byway.

The Kansas Department of Transportation announced the designation Tuesday for the route, which runs through Galena, Riverton and Baxter Springs in Cherokee County before reaching the Oklahoma border.

Scott Shields, a coordinator for the Kansas State Byways program, says the designation encourages visitors and state residents to drive the route and explore communities along the way.

The original Route 66 stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles and was a major pathway for those who migrated west and later for tourists.

Historic Route 66 passes briefly through the State of Kansas on its was between Joplin, Missouri and Miami, Oklahoma. Though Kansas has the shortest stretch of the popular old route between Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California, the 13 miles of Route 66 in Kansas are among the best preserved and have many attractions.

©2011 The Republic

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

Feb 172011
 

In 1926, Springfield became the Route 66’s Birthplace

Route 66 would have turned 85 this year. In 1926, pioneers of the east-west corridor officially named it ‘Route 66’ at a meeting in Springfield, Mo.

It was decommissioned in 1985, but the mother road still brings in tourists from across the globe.

“I wonder myself, what keeps bringing people back and what people find so exciting and intoxicating about this road,” said photography Michael Campanelli.

Campanelli travels the route as often as he can, snapping photos. Along the way, he promotes his work and photo exhibits.

He drove the road for the first time in 2002, and says he still isn’t sure what he loves about the road.

“To me, it’s the freedom just to get out in America and be able to drive around,” said Campanelli.

Whatever the reason, Route 66 lives on.

“You’ll find yourself coming back, and back, and back again,” says Gary Turner, owner of the Gay Parita Sinclair Station.

When the major 4-lane highways went in, Route 66 disappeared in pieces. In southwest Missouri, many of the buildings are disappearing, too. Run-down, deteriorating buildings dot the sides of the decommissioned highway.

As America changes, so does its landscape.

“The historic buildings that we have, that’s the fabric of our community. If they’re gone, the fabric of our community is gone,” said David Eslick, with the Route 66 Association of Missouri.

Not all of the buildings are forgotten. There’s been a recent resurgence of interest in the mother road.

Like Turner’s Sinclair station.

“It’s just my dream,” said Turner.

Turner rebuilt a gas station on his property in 2006, after the original burned down in 1955.

“It’s the greatest thing i ever did in my life,” says Turner. “It’s not a duplicate of the original gas station. It’s just my idea of what a 1930 gas station would look like.”

Now, Turner spends most of his days greeting visitors who stop in at the station. A quick thumb through his guest book shows visitors from across the country and around the globe.

That interest in Route 66 is good news for its official birthplace: Springfield, Mo. In 1926, at a meeting in downtown Springfield, pioneers of the route penned a telegraph, officially dubbing the highway “Route 66.”

In its hey-day, the road linked rural America to two major u-s cities: Los Angeles and Chicago. Now, much of it is still drive-able, just off the main route. In Missouri, most of Route 66 runs along-side Highway 44, criss-crossing it along the way.

“You’ll be driving along on the interstate, and you’ll see a Route 66 sign right there by the side of the road,” says Eslick.

Signs still direct drivers where to go to “get their kicks…”

Route 66 never died. It’s going to get better and better as we go. There’s hundreds of people on Route 66 that’s working on it now,” says Turner.

Copyright © 2011, KSPR-TV

Sep 192010
 

A trip down Route 66 consisting of (8) Micro-Cars started in Santa Monica and ended in downtown Chicago.
This is a small clip of one of the guys who was in the group. Most of the footage was shot in Dwight, Odell, and Pontiac IL.

I actually saw these guys coming into Bloomington, IL (from the south of course) and could not turn around in time to catch up with them – I wish I did!!

Click the link below to watch the video.
Micro-Cars on Route 66