Route 66 News

Historic status sought for Lamplighter property

A portion of the Inn of the Lamplighter, a longtime social gathering spot and an oasis for Route 66 travelers in Springfield, Ill., is going to be nominated as a historic landmark, reports the Springfield Journal-Register.

This week a group of residents at the Route 66 landmark-turned-condos begins the work of putting a piece of the property, an indoor swimming pool and deck, on a county register of historic landmarks.

“It (the pool area) still has a lot of its original character. It’s still very much like it was in the 1960s,” said Randy Schick, a Springfield attorney and president of the Lamplighter Home Owner’s Association. “A large part of the rest of the property was demolished, and the remainder was converted to condos.”

The official address is 6600 S. Sixth St. But most motorists probably would recognize it as the dark-brown cluster of hotel-style units visible from northbound Interstate 55 on the north side of Lake Springfield. […]

Route 66 historians also say the Lamplighter was among the earliest hotels along the historic road to provide an indoor pool. The hotel and restaurant was built in 1948, but the business began to struggle when it was bypassed by the interstate in the 1970s.

According to the article, the Lamplighter restaurant’s 55-foot-tall tower was demolished in 1998. However, the tropic-themed swimming pool, built in 1960, is still being used by residents.

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