May 152014
 










Nearly 90 years after “U.S. 66” was proposed as the name for the new Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway at Springfield’s Colonial Hotel, City officials will break ground for a roadside park celebrating Springfield as the birthplace of the Mother Road. The groundbreaking will take place at 10 a.m., May 22 at the park’s future site on West College Street, between Fort and Broadway avenues. Parking will be available on site and on the streets adjacent to the site.

Route 66 meandered across Springfield from Kearney to Glenstone to St. Louis Street, through Park Central Square to College Street, then headed west along what is now Chestnut Expressway.

Plans for the Birthplace of Route 66 Roadside Park include incorporating memories of local Route 66 landmarks, sculptures, a filling station replica, a motor court sign replica and a history plaza. The first phase of the park will be complete by August and will include the replica of the Red’s Giant Hamburg sign; park driveway and parallel parking; and landscaping and sidewalk improvements along College Street.

The estimated cost for the Birthplace of Route 66 Roadside Park is about $1 million, according to Director of Planning Ralph Rognstad.

While the City will provide funding to implement certain infrastructure improvements along the College Street stretch of Historic Route 66 between Grant Avenue and Kansas Expressway, it must leverage its investment in the project with private donations and other sources of funding. A larger plan to revitalize Historic Route 66 through other parts of Springfield could roll out in phases, as the City gauges interest and potential funding. The City raised more than $15,000 to build a replica of the Red’s Giant Hamburg sign through local crowd funding company www.Crowdit.com.

We hope to make Springfield THE stop along the famed, historic byway,” says City Manager Greg Burris.

Birthplace of Route 66 Roadside Park renderings can be viewed at: www.springfieldmo.gov/collegestreet/pdfs/collegeRoadPark.pdf

By Springfield Regional Arts Council

Aug 132013
 




The Hilltop Motel on Route 66 in Kingman recently earned a much-coveted Route 66 Cost-Share Preservation Grant from the National Park Service – the only such grant awarded in Arizona this year.

The Hilltop Motel is an excellent example of the motel experience that was common during the post-war, family vacation boom,” according to a press release from the National Park Service.

Motel owner Dennis Schroeder said he is very happy to get the $20,000 grant, and he will have to come up with a matching $21,478 before the National Park Service will release the funds.

“It’s really a great program,” he said. “It’s funded 114 or 115 projects on Route 66 – everything from oral histories to historic buildings.”

The money from the grant will replace the heating and cooling units in 14 of the 28 rooms at the historic motel, Schroeder said.

The original units were installed when the motel was built in 1954 and were incredibly inefficient, he said.

“The air conditioning units had three levels – on, off and fan,” he said.

“You would turn it on and in a few minutes, you would be freezing. You’d turn it off, and a few minutes later you were sweating.”

The gas heating system was the same way, Schroeder said. Most of the units were replaced in the 1980s, but those systems are now in need of replacement.

He hopes to start work in October.

The hotel has seen a lot of history in its nearly 60 years of existence.

It was originally built with 20 rooms. Over the years, another eight rooms, an innkeeper’s quarters and a pool were added.

More recently, cable TV and then satellite TV was installed.

The motel also has had a few interesting visitors, including the band Cosby, Stills and Nash – who were unable to stay at the motel because there were no open rooms. However, they did get a chance at a shower in one of the rooms.

Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh is probably the most notorious guest.

He stayed at the motel for four days in mid-February 1995. The federal government confiscated his registration card as evidence.

The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program focuses on business on or near the historic highway that were built between 1926 and 1970. It targets motels, gas stations, cafes, road segments and landscapes. The target of the grant must be within view or directly on Route 66 and must be in its original location.

The grants are awarded on an annual basis. All grant winners have to come up with matching funds.

Since 2001, 114 projects have been awarded $1.6 million in grant funds and $2.7 million in matching funds have been raised to preserve some of the Mother Road’s historic landmarks.

This is the third time that a Kingman business has gotten a grant from the program.

The first Kingman business to receive grant funding was the owner of the Old Trails Garage on Andy Devine Avenue, next to the Brunswick Hotel. A $10,000 grant with $10,000 in matching funds helped repair the roof on the building.

The second grant recipient was the Route 66 Motel on Andy Devine Avenue in 2011. A $10,319 grant with matching funds helped restore the historic sign that was featured in a 1997 issue of National Geographic, as well as repairs to the roof.

Other well-known Arizona landmarks that have gotten grant funds from the Route 66 Preservation Grant fund include the gas station in downtown Peach Springs, the Frontier Motel sign in Truxton and the Wigwam Hotel in Holbrook.

By Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa – Daily Miner