The Mill and the Gardner Streetcar preservation work article

 Daily, Illinois  Comments Off on The Mill and the Gardner Streetcar preservation work article
Jan 142011

Back in Aug/Sept 2010 – we went to work on the beginning of the restoration of both The Mill in Lincoln, IL and the Riviera (Gardner) Streetcar after it was moved from the back of the Riviera – but before it found its new home next to the jailcell in Gardner.

Click picture to see full article. (I am the one with the arrow next to him…)
As you can see from the pictues, we work hard, we play hard, we eat A LOT!!

The Route 66 Association of Illinois’ motto is: ‘We work for food’ and I have YET had a bad meal while volunteering!!

A great group of folks who will tell tales, stories and give useful information about the route as you work next to them – side by side.

I do mean it when I say these folks put their heart and soul preserving Route 66.

I encourage all state associations to get the word out about volunteering efforts and I encourage all who love the route as I do – VOLUNTEER! It is an experience you will have with you for a lifetime!

Nothing like stopping at a building you helped restore and say ‘yep – I did that!’

Yes – you are allowed to pat yourself on the back…

New home for Riviera Streetcar!

 Illinois  Comments Off on New home for Riviera Streetcar!
Nov 262010

As most of you know – Route 66 World has relocated to Phoenix AZ. I was up in Chicago for Thanksgiving and we were heading down to Bloomington (Normal) IL to have dinner and my gut was telling me to swing by to see if there was any progress to the streetcar since I helped paint it last time.
Well, to my surprise – there it was! Moved from the ‘secret hiding place’ where I saw it last to now floating on I-beams until the Town of Gardner can officially lower it and secure it in place.

Now, looking at the pictures (and being up close and inside of it) – it needs a LOT of work. I say a good year to get it looking half-way decent.
But, with all that being said, I am glad it is one step closer to be re-opened for all Route 66 travelers to enjoy again.

Enjoy the winter – there is a whole ‘nother Route 66 travel season right around the corner!!

Riviera Restaurant – one last picture…

 Illinois, Route 66 States  Comments Off on Riviera Restaurant – one last picture…
Jun 222010

I took a quick trip down Route 66 to Bloomington/Normal and had to stop at the Riviera to see if the rumors were true about the sign and letters being stolen… and they are true.

The rubble was still there – untouched, and still hiding in the back was the streetcar. The yellow tape looked like it was taken down, someone pulled it down, or all of the bad weather we have been getting hit with in Northern Illinois took it out.

Regardless – this will probably be my last trip to the Riviera until the streetcar (finally) finds a home – I have volunteered to help move it – when that day comes.

Anyway, met a nice (older) couple from Texas. They were at the Gardner Jail Cell and I asked if they wanted me to take a picture of them inside the cell – a polite ‘no, it’s OK’ was given. It’s not like I would lock them in there…. or would I??

On the way back to Chicago, I stopped back in Dwight for gas and noticed a group taking pictures of the old gas station and I decided to stop and say ‘hi’. Just so happens they are (5) 20-something year old guys from Norway who are driving the route for the next 2 weeks. We talked for about 15 minutes and they were happy with what they saw (so far). So anyone who has a business on Route 66 – they are driving a Black mini-van with Maryland plates and are stopping in Springfield (IL) Tues nite.

Anyone who does not have a business and is up to no-good, they are driving a red 4-door heading EAST!!! ; )

Updated information – Riviera Restaurant Fire in Gardner

 Illinois, Route 66 States  Comments Off on Updated information – Riviera Restaurant Fire in Gardner
Jun 092010

I received a call from Bob (new owner of Riviera) and he told me he is vacationing in the North Woods of WI/MI. He told me his cell didn’t work up there (which, ironically, he and I vacation some 20 miles apart from each other so I know that most cells do not work up there!!) and he called me on a payphone to tell me what happened.

He recieved SEVERAL VM’s regarding the fire and told me that there was a cleaning crew in the restaurant Monday cleaning up the place. He is looking into the possibility that someone left something either opened or something caught by one of the halogen lamps.

He told me that he will be cutting his vacation short to come back down and check out the remains. He did say “All I wanted to do was to open the damn restaurant – that was it….”.
He did mention the streetcar and said that the car is his property and will now have to fight for where its new home should be.

I will try to get out there sometime this week/weekend to get pics.