Arizona Route 66 association gives $10,000 to finish the restoration of Standin’ on a Corner wall

The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona recently gave a $10,000 check to the Standin’ on a Corner Foundation to finish a long-gestating restoration of the wall at that famed park in Winslow, Arizona.

From left are Tommy Butler, a member of the Standin’ on the Corner Foundation; Nikki Seegers, director of the Historic Route 66 Association; Sabrina Bulter, a member of the foundation; Rhett Butler, a member of the foundation; Krystal Burge, vice president of the Arizona association; and Angel Delgadillo, president of the Arizona association.

The check was presented during the association’s annual meeting on July 19 in Williams, Arizona. According to a news release from the association:

The Eagles’ 1972 song, “Take It Easy,” took on a physical form at the corner of North Kinsley Avenue and East Second Street in Winslow, Arizona, for the Standin’ on the Corner Park. The foundation bearing the same name created the park for visitors to step into the song. The unique attraction is visited by an estimated 125,000 visitors annually.
A 2004 fire in an adjacent building damaged the wall at the park as well as the mural. It necessitated the foundation to secure the wall, rework the mural and more securely attach the mounting boards to the wall. The Standin’ on the Corner Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit, has been working to bring the mural back to its former glory since the fire. The project has experienced its fair share of challenges. A specialist attempted to brighten the colors of the mural. It then was realized the mural would need to be redone. Once this decision was made, it also was decided to drill through the 18-inch concrete wall to secure the panels better.
World-renowned artist John Pugh completed the original mural at the Standin’ on the Corner Park in 1999. He was contracted to return to Winslow and re-create the mural. Mr. Pugh will use a new mural method by which he’s painting on a non-woven material that will adhere to an aluminum composite board when complete. The boards then will be attached to the wall at the park. The foundation hopes with the new mural method, along with securely attaching the panels, it will endure for a long time at this iconic stop. As of 2019, the foundation has spent over $17,000 on the project.

The foundation seeks to complete the mural project by its annual Standin’ on a Corner Festival on Sept. 27-28 or by the end of the year.

Standin’ on a Corner Park in Winslow, Arizona, in 2018

The association announced earlier in July it was flush with $261,000 in new revenue from a specialty Route 66 license-plate program, and it was looking for new opportunities to award preservation grants.

Eagles charter member Glenn Frey and Jackson Browne collaborated on writing “Take It Easy” in 1972, which contained these now-famous lines:

“Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see,
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at me.”

According to Browne, a corner in Flagstaff, Arizona, at the Dog Haus restaurant — also on Route 66 — inspired the song. But they changed the lyrics to Winslow because it sounded better.

The song reached No. 12 on the pop charts. It wasn’t The Eagles’ biggest single, but it became a mainstay of Eagles concerts and road-trip playlists.

The much-photographed Standin’ on a Corner Park statue marked its 20th anniversary last year. The statue is an image of not one particular individual, but of a typical troubadour folk musician from the early 1970s.

Winslow in 2016 dedicated a new statue of 1970s-era Frey near the corner after his death earlier that year at age 67.

(Image of the $10,000 donation courtesy of the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona; an image of Standin’ on a Corner Park in Winslow, Arizona, by Rod Brazier via Flickr)

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