The former glory of the Bel-Aire Motel

The historic Bel-Aire Motel in Springfield, Illinois, is known for its retro neon sign and Sputnik structure on the roof. It's also known for hundreds of code violations and criminal activity by many of its tenants. It didn't used to be the latter. Columnist Dave Bakke of the Springfield State Journal-Register spoke to the daughter of … Continue reading The former glory of the Bel-Aire Motel

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Grand Canyon Railway bringing out steam engine for Father’s Day weekend

The Grand Canyon Railway, based in the Route 66 town of Williams, Arizona, will bring back a 1923 steam locomotive and Pullman cars for special displays and excursions on Father's Day weekend, June 14-15. It's part of the railroad's first Williams Train Days festival, which, according to the news release, will have other goodies that … Continue reading Grand Canyon Railway bringing out steam engine for Father’s Day weekend

Downtown Albuquerque may install public bathrooms

Downtown Albuquerque is strongly considering the construction of public bathrooms partly for the use of Route 66 tourists, reported KRQE-TV. But it's not just for tourism reasons (ick): The report sort of dances around the issue, but I suspect the downtown problem primarily comes from the homeless and those who've had a little too much … Continue reading Downtown Albuquerque may install public bathrooms

Cracks appear on Skydeck Ledge of Willis Tower

Cracks spidered on the transparent floor of a Skydeck Ledge of Chicago's Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, after visitors stood on it 103 floors above ground level, according to various media reports. The NBC affiliate in Chicago posted this video: The Chicago Tribune reported: "I had my palms on the floor and … Continue reading Cracks appear on Skydeck Ledge of Willis Tower

Webb City wants to add downtown to National Register

A move is afoot in Webb City, Missouri, to add its entire downtown district to the National Register of Historic Places, reported KOAM-TV in nearby Pittsburg, Kansas. Webb City is looking at the move not just to add a publicity hook, but to help owners renovate historic buildings with tax credits. Here's the report: KOAM … Continue reading Webb City wants to add downtown to National Register

Bloomington moves forward on Route 66 tourism center

Even though it doesn't have all the money needed for the project, the McLean County Museum of History in Bloomington, Illinois, is taking bids on building a tourism center that will highlight Route 66, reported the Bloomington Pantagraph. The project would turn the south lawn of the museum square into a plaza pointing visitors to the … Continue reading Bloomington moves forward on Route 66 tourism center

Tuxedo cruising

Here's Roy Gaines and His Orchestra playing a nice arrangement of Bobby Troup's "Route 66," from Gaines' 2009 album, "Tuxedo Blues." If you like a big horn section, this is for you: http://youtu.be/IbcQhWcBcTY The song may be downloaded for 99 cents here. Gaines has quite a biography. In addition to a long career in music, … Continue reading Tuxedo cruising

A chat with Laurel Kane at Afton Station

KC Keefer continues his Genuine Route 66 Life video series with an interview with Laurel Kane, co-owner of Afton Station in Afton, Oklahoma. Afton Station, a former gas station on Route 66 in town, was converted into a display area for a Packards collection and as a visitors center for Route 66 travelers. http://youtu.be/B3NpM-BRY9k Kane … Continue reading A chat with Laurel Kane at Afton Station

Woman eats two Big Texan 72-ounce steaks in less than 15 minutes

Holy cow. A woman from Nebraska devoured two of the Big Texan Steak Ranch's trademark 72-ounce steak dinners in less than 15 minutes Monday, reported the Amarillo Globe-News, and set an apparent record in the process. Molly Schuyler of Bellevue, Nebraska, reportedly polished off the first meal in less than five minutes. If the timing … Continue reading Woman eats two Big Texan 72-ounce steaks in less than 15 minutes

Old motel cabins in Joplin soon will be removed

Old motel cabins on Route 66 in Joplin, Missouri, soon will be razed or removed, according to a story by a business columnist Wally Kennedy in the Joplin Globe newspaper. The item was tucked into a story about Rob's Audio Solutions, which was forced to move from 2604 N. Range Line Road (aka Route 66) to … Continue reading Old motel cabins in Joplin soon will be removed