Route 66 News

Site approved for Route 66 museum in Litchfield

Organizers for a Route 66 museum in Litchfield, Ill., have approved a site and building design, and plan on starting construction in the spring, reports The Journal-News in nearby Hillsboro.

According to the newspaper:

The 4,600 square foot building will be located on historic Route 66 across from Jubelts and the Ariston.

The museum will house Litchfield artifacts and memorabilia and highlight the city’s history and growth. […]

Tourist information and a history of Route 66 will also have a place in the building.

The Ariston refers to the Ariston Cafe, which has operated in Litchfield next to Route 66 since 1935. As a result, the museum couldn’t be in a better location.

It was reported a few weeks ago that Andy Ritchie was planning a cross-country bicycle ride to raise funds for the museum. At the time, a building and site hadn’t been announced.

The building will also be the home of Litchfield’s tourism coordinator, Litchfield Chamber of Commerce, and Montgomery County Genealogy Society.

UPDATE 12/2/2011: The State-Journal Register in Springfield has more details about the museum, including this:

The sleek, art-deco-inspired structure designed by John Fletcher will rise from the former Vic Suhling gas station, which used to greet travelers on one of the remaining original stretches of the Mother Road. The former station’s neon sign — “Vic” Suhling Gas for Less — is the only thing remaining on the lot in the 300 block of Historic Route 66.

The sign — already a tourist draw — will remain. The association plans to restore its neon.