Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Springfield, Illinois--April 29th-- Part 4: The Downtowner Motel and Museums

Continued from August 2nd.

You can check out the rest of the trip by clicking on the Springfield April 2011 label.

After that great meal at the Old Log Cabin, we drove to the wonderful Pontiac town square with what we consider the prettiest court house anywhere. We sure miss the old Downtowner Motel by the river and a block from the square and close to all those fun bars, especially Bob and Ringo's.

The owner had been a former German prisoner of war who had returned to the United States after the war and opened this business. Staying at the Downtowner was a lot like staying at the Munger-Moss in Lebanon, Missouri. Clean and right out of the 50s-60s. And, of course, near the bars. No worrying about DUIs here. Drink up and stagger home. try to fit that stupid key into the stupid key hole.

Unfortunately, the owner died and the family wasn't interested in continuing the business. After sitting vacant for several years, the building, which resembled an Alpine motel, was torn down and now a city government structure is being constructed on the site. I heard that they had been able to save the mural which had been of Pontiac history that had been painted on the back of the motel.

For Pontiac not to save a mural would be sacrilegious since it has become probably Illinois' #1 mural city.

Then, there's that great courthouse. You've got to see it both during the day and with the night lighting. Another good time to see it is during the winter when the trees don't block it so much.

Pontiac is getting to be quite the "Museum City." With a population around 10,000, they have the Route 66 Museum, War Museum, the WallDogs (my cousins) museum and now a Pontiac/Oakland Car Museum.

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