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Route 66 News

Sprague Super Service station likely will open in May

Sprague's Super Service

The Sprague Super Service station along Route 66 in Normal. Illinois, probably will open to travelers in May, a few weeks later than originally anticipated.

The reason for the delay is because work still is being done. The Bloomington Pantagraph reports:

Normal’s Historic Preservation Commission approved three steps Tuesday to improve the exterior: tuck-pointed bricks on the front canopy and repaired stucco and half-timbering, funded from a $16,000 grant arranged by caretaker Terri Ryburn. […]
The town, which owns the property, is also rehabbing the inside, including replacing bathrooms with new ones that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. After the property has opened, they’ll remove parts of the building to the south and west added after it was constructed in 1931.

In December, it was anticipated the station would open in April.

Ryburn also told the newspaper she’s lined up vendors — mostly local or products made in America — for the gift shop, which also will be the visitors center for the property.

Ryburn also wants to eventually host meetings, music events and plays in the station.

The city of Normal bought the property last year from Ryburn, who had bought it 10 years ago and used  several grants to stabilize and improve the structure. Once it reopens, she will run the gift shop and live in its upstairs apartment for $120 a year.

Sprague Super Service was built in 1931 on Route 66 by William Sprague. It was a unique in its design as a gas station and residence. It originally sold City Service gas but it was turned into other businesses by the 1940s, and the pumps were removed by 1979. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

(Image of Sprague Super Service station by Rose Griff via Flickr)

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3 thoughts on “Sprague Super Service station likely will open in May

  1. Phyllis Grey

    Great news. Such an interesting place. I have not been inside but I understand the original owner lived in an apartment upstairs and there was also an apartment for the gas station attendant. It was such a classy place for the time with a restaurant as well. Can’t wait to go to the visitors center!

  2. Eric Hayman

    Whilst it is admirable that the so-called “bathrooms” are being replaced to “comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act”, one must ask what sort of country enacts laws that only apply to its own disabled or handicapped nationals. Just how inward-looking it sounds. And Route 66 is supposed to appeal to anyone from anywhere.

    One might also ask who named the town “Normal”? I see it was named after “llinois State Normal University, a normal school (teacher-training institution) located there”. How language changes when the same word is used in different countries. ” école normale.” may have sounded all right where it came from – 16th century France, but in 21st America, normal is the opposite of abnormal. And aren’t disabled people abnormal?

    But America is littered with weird town names. Think of Truth or Consequences. What sort of town changes its historic name to that of a radio game show?

    The USA and the UK: two countries divided by a common language.

  3. DynoDave

    I’m with you Phyllis. Have been by many times. I am very anxious to be able to go inside.

    And Eric…I’m not sure where to start. LOL Just relax and enjoy. Don’t over think it.

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