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Route 66 News

Sprague’s Super Service station in Normal will open in August

The Sprague’s Super Service station is scheduled to open to the public next month as a Route 66 visitors center after the city of Normal, Illinois, finishes its rehabilitation.

The Bloomington Pantagraph reported:

“We’re definitely going to be ready to open the doors this summer, possibly a soft opening early next month with a ribbon cutting later in the month,” said Normal Communications Director Dan Irvin.
“We think it’s a big deal to have a Route 66-themed attraction toward the north end of (Bloomington-Normal), so we’ll be doing plenty of communication about the facility when the opening timeline is more clear,” he added.

The city still is deciding the color scheme and lettering style for the sign that will be placed on the property. They want it to be historically appropriate, but are having trouble choosing because no photographs of the station before 1966 apparently exist.

The historic, two-story gas station originally was slated to reopen in April after the city purchased the property last year from owner Terri Ryburn. She will run the gift shop and live in its upstairs apartment for $120 a year.

The city has spent about $600,000 buying and renovating the station.

Sprague Super Service was built in 1931 on Route 66 by William Sprague. It uniquely was designed as a gas station and residence. It sold City Service gas but became other businesses by the 1940s, and the pumps were removed by 1979. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

(Image of Sprague’s Super Service station in Normal, Illinois, by Teemu008 via Flickr)

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2 thoughts on “Sprague’s Super Service station in Normal will open in August

  1. Eric Hayman

    1966 is 51 years ago now – over half a lifetime for most people. Why not go by what is in the 1966 photos? Or use typical 1930s lettering and colours? The building is the most attactive US one of its type that I have ever seen. Good shape and good proportions. And an apex not a flat roof.

    1. Ron Warnick Post author

      Because the station is on the National Register of Historic Places, you choose the sign style that’s most relevant, which would be the 1930s or so, when it actually operated as a gas station.

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