Friday, August 5, 2011

Down Da 66: Illinois Burning-- Normal Does Right

Some Stories about Route 66.

1. ILLINOIS BURNING-- I was sorry to see that this past week, the 1924 Coliseum near Benld burned down. The building played host top Chuck B, Guy Lombardo, the Dorsey brothers and many others during its dance hall days. Lately, it has been an antique mall.

In the last several years, we have lost the Pighip Museum in Broadwell and the Riviera in Gardner. the last fire was under VERY SUSPICIOUS circumstances. i don't know about this one.

2. NORMAL DOES RIGHT-- WJBC AM radio in Central Illinois reports that the Normal town council is considering designating the 1930s Sprague Super Service gas station as a historical landmark at its next meeting. This would qualify it for town grants.

Owner Terry Ryburn purchased it and wants to restore it to its original form and says she has already shelled out $90,000 of her own money and has received $87,000 in town, state and National Park Service grants, but that falls way short of the $1.2 million she expects the whole thing to cost.

She wants to turn it into a visitor center, coffee shop, entertainment venue and B&B.

In 2008, the station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It Sure Would be Great to See the Folks Down in the Bloomington-Normal Area admit to Their Ties With Route 66 and This Would be a Great Way to Do It. --RoadDog

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