On Friday, right when the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival was kicking off, the city of Springfield, Missouri, showed off its new Route 66-themed welcome sign and a replica of the long-gone Red’s Giant Hamburg restaurant sign at the newly christened Route 66 Roadside Park.
The Springfield News-Leader had some details about the park:
Plans for the Birthplace of Route 66 Roadside Park include incorporating memories of local Route 66 landmarks, sculptures, a filling station replica, a motor court sign replica and a history plaza. The first phase of the park includes the replica of the Red’s Giant Hamburg sign, a park driveway and parallel parking, landscaping and sidewalk improvements along College Street. […]
The initial streetscape cost $423,000, including $112,000 for utilities, and was paid for using ¼ cent capital improvement sales tax funding. The Red’s Giant Hamburg sign was funded with donations of more than $15,000, raised through the local crowdfunding company www.Crowdit.com.
The estimated cost for the park altogether is about $1 million, according to Rognstad. However, with additional ideas popping up, that could run higher, city leaders say.
To complete the park and other improvements included in a vision plan, the city must leverage its investment in the project with private donations and other sources of funding. A larger plan to revitalize historic Route 66 through other parts of Springfield could roll out in phases, as the city gauges interest and potential funding.
The KY3 station filed this report about why Springfield is suddenly embracing Route 66 — economic opportunity.