Art’s Motel of Farmersville, Illinois, best-known for distinctive sign that was restored by volunteers a decade ago, recently reopened after a six-year hiatus.
The Prairie Land Buzz, a publication from a four-county area in Illinois near St. Louis, reported in its February issue the old Route 66 motel had been purchased by Kris Jain and reopened.
“A friend of mine told me about the property and I decided it was a worthwhile investment,” Jain explained. “Of course we had a lot of work to do, including running new water lines, in order to get it running again, but we are open.”
Jain said the 11-room motel offers stays for $50 a night, with free Wi-Fi, cable television, a refrigerator, a microwave and two double beds.
Jain told the publication he had no plans to reopen the restaurant on the premises but would entertain offers from anyone who wished to lease out the fully equipped building and open a cafe there. If no one expresses interest, he said he’d probably tear down the building to make way for more motel space.
According to the Springfield State Journal-Register and “The Route 66 Encyclopedia,” Art McAnarney reportedly founded Art’s Motel and Restaurant in 1937 by leasing Hendricks Brothers Cafe and gas station and added six cabins. Art’s went through several changes over the decades, including a fire in 1952, until McAnarney died in 1957. His sons, Elmer and Joe kept the motel going for years after that, until it started shutting down sporadically.
Art’s Motel and Restaurant was inducted into the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame in 1995.
Illinois preservationists John and Lenore Weiss directed a magnificent restoration of the Art’s Motel sign by volunteers from the Illinois Route 66 Association in 2007.
The phone number at Art’s Motel is (217) 227-3030.
(Hat tip to Alisa Dewitt and Cheryl Eichar Jett; photo of the Art’s Motel sign in 2007 by Digital Route 66)