On Thursday, the historic Vic Suhling / Gas for Less sign along Route 66 in Litchfield, Ill., was removed for the first time in decades so it can be restored and reinstalled next to the Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center.
A St. Louis shop is doing the work. Plans are for the refurbished 12-by-12-foot sign to be relighted during a ceremony at the museum sometime in late October.
Vic Suhling’s former 24-hour gas station in Litchfield, which opened in 1957, has been gone for more than two decades, although the sign had stood for the entire time until now. The station itself closed in 1973, shortly after the opening of Interstate 55.
Museum officials had planned to restore the sign and join it with the building’s decor. A few weeks ago, the museum was awarded a $11,275 cost-share grant from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program for the sign’s restoration. The Neon Heritage Preservation Committee of the Route 66 Association of Missouri is working with the Litchfield group on the project.
(Photo courtesy of Jim Thole)