Route 66 News

Part of historic sign near St. Louis removed

A huge and historic sign that advertised the Diamonds Restaurant and the Gardenway Motel in Villa Ridge, Mo., saw the Diamonds part of the sign removed in recent weeks, reported Norma Maret Bolin, author of the well-researched book “Route 66 St. Louis.”

Bolin said she discovered the partial removal of the sign on Feb. 10. It was still there in January.

She wrote in an email:

The landmark Diamonds sign had needed some repair to the letters but I wasn’t expecting them to totally take the letters down. This was the last area sign I know of that advertised the Diamonds restaurant and, since it was so huge, it was highly visible and a wonderful reminder of the Route 66 era.

For comparison’s sake, here’s a photo of the sign in 2010:

It appears from the newer photo the Gardenway Motel lettering and arrow were repainted in recent weeks. Although the removal of one part of a historic sign is sad, it’s also somewhat encouraging the owners made an effort to spruce up the motel’s portion. That bodes well for the motel’s immediate future.

The Diamonds Restaurant closed in November 1995, Bolin said. The Gardenway Motel continues to operate on Route 66.

(Photos by Norma Maret Bolin and Pete Zarria)


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