The 2 Week Diet Review. Your Amazing Energy Engine Review,. One outstanding example of the highway in its early form is the 3. Atlantic City is the home of the Miss America competition, however it was moved to Las Vegas for seven years before returning. In , salt water taffy was conceived in Atlantic City by David Bradley. The grandest resort was the Meramec Highlands, established in ten miles upriver from the eventual bridge site. While powered carts appeared in the s, the original and most common were made of wicker.
Stadium Casino nearing six-month deadline
At-Large, , Jesse O. Following questions about false claims he had made about his military record, Mayor Bob Levy left City Hall in September in a city-owned vehicle for an unknown destination. After a day absence, his lawyer revealed that Levy was in Carrier Clinic , a rehabilitation hospital. Atlantic City is located in the 2nd Congressional district  and is part of New Jersey's 2nd state legislative district.
Atlantic County is governed by a directly elected county executive and a nine-member Board of Chosen Freeholders , responsible for legislation. The executive serves a four-year term and the freeholders are elected to staggered three-year terms, of which four are elected from the county on an at-large basis and five of the freeholders represent equally populated districts.
As of March 23, , there were a total of 20, registered voters in Atlantic City, of which 12, There were 4 voters registered to other parties. In the presidential election , Democrat Barack Obama received 9, votes Bush with 2, votes In the gubernatorial election , Democrat Barbara Buono received 4, ballots cast The New Jersey Casino Control Commission is a New Jersey state governmental agency that was founded in as the state's Gaming Control Board , responsible for administering the Casino Control Act and its regulations to assure public trust and confidence in the credibility and integrity of the casino industry and casino operations in Atlantic City.
Casinos operate under licenses granted by the Commission. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement is a division of the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety and is responsible for certifying casino gaming revenue, registering casino employees and non-gaming vendors, licensing gaming vendors, and handling all casino patron complaints.
The CRDA was founded in and is responsible for directing the spending of casino reinvestment funds in public and private projects to benefit Atlantic City and other areas of the state. The Atlantic City Special Improvement District SID was a nonprofit organization created in , funded by a special assessment tax on businesses within the improvement district. It carried out various activities to improve the city's business community, including street cleaning and promotional efforts.
Under the new structure, established by state legislation, the CRDA assumed responsibility for the staff, equipment and programs of the SID. The ACFD operates out of six fire stations, located throughout the city in one battalion, under the command of a Battalion Chief , who in-turn reports to an on-duty Deputy Chief, or Tour Commander per shift.
Below is a complete listing of all fire station and fire apparatus locations in the city. The city is protected by the Atlantic City Police Department , which handles , calls per year.
The Chief of Police is Henry White. The Atlantic City School District serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grades. As of the —15 school year, the district and its 11 schools had an enrollment of 7, students and Martin Luther King Jr. Oceanside Charter School, which offered pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade , was founded in and closed in June when its charter wasn't renewed by the New Jersey Department of Education. Nearby college campuses include those of Atlantic Cape Community College and Stockton University , the latter of which offers classes and resources in the city such as the Carnegie Library Center.
Atlantic City is part of the Philadelphia television market. There, six stations licensed in the area. Atlantic City is connected to other cities in several ways. Many travelers also fly into Philadelphia International Airport , Trenton-Mercer Airport , or Newark Liberty International Airport , where there are wider selections of carriers from which to choose. The historic downtown Bader Field airport is now permanently closed and plans are in the works to redevelop the land.
The airport is also served by various scheduled chartered flight companies. It has Atlantic City's only cancer institute, heart institute, and neonatal intensive care unit. Marina Energy and its subsidiary, Energenic, a joint business venture with a long-time business partner , operate two thermal power stations in the city.
Electrical power in Atlantic City as well as the surrounding area is primarily served by Atlantic City Electric , which was incorporated in and provides power from the Beesley's Point Generating Station in Upper Township , as well as other locations.
In addition to the city's exposure in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire , Atlantic City has been featured in several other aspects of pop culture. People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Atlantic City include:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Atlantic City disambiguation.
City in New Jersey, United States. Top to bottom left to right: Gambling in New Jersey. Places adjacent to Atlantic City, New Jersey. Mayors of Atlantic City, New Jersey. New Jersey Casino Control Commission. New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. Atlantic City Police Department. Newspapers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Radio stations in the Atlantic City — Cape May market. Films shot in Atlantic City, New Jersey. People from Atlantic City, New Jersey. The National Weather Service ceased regular snowfall observations at downtown after the winter of — Accessed July 12, Accessed May 21, Accessed September 4, Accessed May 18, Accessed March 15, Accessed March 4, Accessed January 12, Accessed January 6, Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: Accessed June 16, Accessed December 11, Accessed August 23, Accessed December 24, Accessed February 1, Population for the Counties and Municipalities in New Jersey: Accessed June 19, Accessed November 20, Winpenny, The engineer as promoter: Accessed July 27, Accessed October 15, This is New Jersey , p.
Rutgers University Press , Foreword by Terence Winter. Accessed June 23, Accessed December 19, Accessed December 21, Bradley, a young candy merchant, had a stand on the Boardwalk. One night the little stand, which was only a couple steps from the sand, was swamped by an evening storm. Atlantic City was a well-known haven for those seeking alcohol. The tourist-based economy of the resort encouraged business owners to provide whatever was needed to make the visitors happy.
Accessed February 4, When the 'Atlantic City Conference' broke up May 16, the groundwork had been laid for the nation's first organized-crime syndicate, a network that crisscrossed the nation and took decades to disentangle. Accessed January 13, Accessed August 8, Atlantic City and the fate of urban America New York: Oxford University Press, In less than a year he has become a force in the world of boxing in Atlantic City, N.
A toll free extension of the Atlantic City Expressway, which links Atlantic City and Philadelphia, it connects the south end of the expressway to casinos in Atlantic City's marina district as well as to neighboring Brigantine. Accessed February 17, Net, September 1, Later in September Trump Plaza will close its doors.
On 13 January this year the Atlantic Club which was completed in as the Golden Nugget, which then became the Bally Grand, and a Hilton was the first of the four major casinos to close this year.
With as many as five of Atlantic City's 12 casinos closing this year, some lawmakers say allowing gambling in other towns is crucial to reclaim revenue that has gone to New York and Philadelphia. Accessed July 7, Accessed May 1, Accessed May 22, Accessed December 14, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved March 30, Accessed November 16, Accessed August 12, The History of New Jersey: Potter and company, A compendium of the ninth census, , p.
United States Census Bureau , Volume III — 51 to 75 , p. United States Census Bureau. New Jersey Resident Population by Municipality: Accessed June 28, Accessed November 15, Accessed April 25, Christie's office releases conceptual 'maps' of Atlantic City tourism, entertainment districts" , The Press of Atlantic City , July 22, Accessed November 26, On November 2, the voters were again asked to decide Public Question 1, an amendment to the Constitution authorizing casino gambling in Atlantic City only.
Accessed October 30, Griffin also said his company would consider selling the Trump Taj Mahal, if the price were right. Bankruptcy Judge Gloria M. Accessed September 14, June 26 , Library of Congress. Where and when was the first boardwalk constructed? Accessed September 21, The Future of Boardwalks; In age of extreme weather, should they be rebuilt, redesigned, defended by dunes?
Two local businessmen, weary of sand being tracked into their establishments, convinced the city council of Atlantic City to create a boardwalk in That small section of the Boardwalk is located in South Inlet, a prominent residential section of Atlantic City. It is a small stretch of Boardwalk that is being shown in video footage and photos.
First opening on July 19, , its 'uptown' location placed it away from the frenzied activity of the bustling downtown. Accessed March 10, Visitors who plan to test the rides later this week at the city's oldest pier will be treated to the screaming upside-down rush of a Super Loop, or the musical lure of a merry-go-round by the sea.
Amazing Origins of Timeless Toys. Accessed September 23, Friends then showed the game to Charles E. Todd, a Philadelphia hotel manager, who passed it on to an acquaintance named Charles Darrow, who soon was playing it in Philadelphia Darrow refined the game and then claimed he'd invented it. Amusement Parks of New Jersey. History, July 27, Accessed November 19, Miss America, the dream lives on. Tours of Nucky Johnson's one-time home are now being offered as Boardwalk Empire mania continues to sweep the city.
The Press of Atlantic City , June 30, But the tournament ended for three years after because of a dispute over dates between the former tournament officials and the LPGA. Accessed October 22, Accessed June 14, Robert Levy spent the start of his day disappearance from public life at the Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead, his attorney told the Press of Atlantic City for a report on its Web site.
The event occurred just hours after former Mayor Bob Levy resigned amid an ongoing federal investigation into his military record and after Levy had returned from a stay at a Somerset County clinic that specializes in mental health and addiction recovery. Accessed January 5, Accessed January 26, Accessed January 21, Accessed January 22, Accessed January 16, Accessed June 5, Formica , Atlantic County, New Jersey.
Bennett , Atlantic County, New Jersey. Bertino , Atlantic County, New Jersey. Coursey , Atlantic County, New Jersey. Dase , Atlantic County, New Jersey. Fitzpatrick , Atlantic County, New Jersey. Gatto , Atlantic County, New Jersey. Risley , Atlantic County, New Jersey. Accessed June 7, Accessed December 4, Accessed May 11, Atlantic City Fire Fighters. Accessed November 22, Accessed August 14, Accessed December 7, Accessed December 29, Most students attending PAS have come from New Jersey Avenue School, one of the oldest in the city, which needed far too many repairs and had become a dark and dismal place for children and teachers alike.
Accessed May 17, As a public school, there is no cost to Atlantic County residents of high school age. New Jersey Title 18A: The school will officially close at the end of the month after the state Department of Education did not renew its charter this year. Accessed October 20, Accessed November 13, The year-old Atlantic Avenue plant functions as a massive air-conditioning system that cools several Boardwalk casinos and hotels, Boardwalk Hall and the Pier Shops at Caesars.
PHI , delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than , customers in southern New Jersey. So the Atlantic County Utilities Authority is cranking open the security gates at the Route 30 wastewater-treatment facility that houses the turbines for twice-a-week tours in June, July, and August. Archived from the original on December 3, Retrieved December 17, For her 60th birthday, our writers assessed her broad and deep influence.
Of course she was early to selfies. But the city does get the proverbial 15 minutes of fame in Rounders , a feature about a pair of go-for-broke poker players that stars Matt Damon and Edward Norton and opens nationally on Friday. A glittery but dunderheaded murder mystery set in Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal, the movie gives both of these high-rollers a chance to strut and preen.
The movie is also filming at Trump Taj Mahal. Review" , Toronto Star , May 31, Under the Boardwalk One-Shot 1. Retrieved December 21, Now an anonymous tip summons him to Atlantic City, promising answers to a gangland mystery.
Retrieved August 10, Retrieved June 23, The night clubs were as often as not fronts for backroom gambling halls, intermittently tolerated by the authorities. Accessed December 26, Club , September 10, Accessed December 5, Accessed November 5, Together they created Ruckus, said to be the wildest game show ever aired. Ruckus was played each day in Atlantic City at Resorts International in front of fans — the largest audience in game show history.
Accessed January 14, A homeless man's body was recovered with the right arm and shoulder missing and possibly eaten off. Mulder produces the X-File on the so-called 'Jersey Devil,' a beast reputed to come out of the woods and attack cars. To celebrate Charlotte's 'faux' birthday, Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte join Samantha on her latest private jet trip with Richard. Uh, and again ".
The Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved April 22, He lived like a king, complete with gold crown. He grew up in the Atlantic City of the s and 60s, before casinos brought tourist dollars and jobs. Albany came to prominence in the 's, holding down the coveted piano chair in bands led by Georgie Auld and Benny Carter, where he was the only white member. Atlantic City Dream" , [[Time magazine ]] , November 5, Accessed June 1, You get the holiday hit Jingle Bell Rock.
Composed by Joseph Beal, a public relations professional and longtime resident of Atlantic City, and James Boothe, a Texan writer in the advertising business.
He began his career as a photo lab technician and engraver at 18 at the old Atlantic City Tribune, a newspaper where his father was a reporter. Accessed September 25, Archived from the original on March 30, Retrieved August 11, Accessed August 9, Accessed June 2, Accessed September 12, Buzby has traveled the world.
He has been to every continent except Antarctica. And thanks to his recent promotion, he will be able to check that one off, too, when he goes there in January. Accessed February 6, Carole graduated from Atlantic City High School, class of From Vision to Reality , p. American Library Association , Her mother died when Byard was very young, and she was raised by her father with the help of a grandmother.
Trump and not the public at large. It's his competitive nature. He was born in Atlantic City and grew up in Gloucester City. Accessed December 22, Farley, 75, Ex-Legislator And G. Farley, whose friends called him 'Hap' was born in Atlantic City on Dec. Accessed February 15, The Atlantic City resident, who played basketball professionally around the world for years, has extensive sideline experience. Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey: Accessed September 6, He married the former Carol Crane in Accessed August 27, Accessed August 28, The casinos form a glitzy skyline but just blocks away teem with poverty, gangs and drugs.
The gangs and drugs ensnared Green's father. Herbert, a merchant marine; Gertrude, an artist; David, a mechanical engineer; and Bernard, a psychiatrist. She arrived on the Boardwalk in , and she eventually moved into a condominium in Atlantic City purchased with the proceeds from her busking.
In a seaside resort that sold and lived by illusion, he spoke of learning early on about things not always being what they seemed. Accessed December 20, Kaprow was born in Atlantic City and began his career as an abstract painter in New York City in the 's, studying with Hans Hofmann. Accessed January 15, Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey; Edition , p.
Accessed September 28, Of those , miles, only 32, had pavement of bituminous material, brick, or concrete. The intent of the Federal Aid Highway Act of , successor to the earlier highway appropriations legislation of , was to create a coherent highway network by requiring that Federal aid be concentrated on projects that would expedite completion of an adequate and connected system of interstate highways.
The automobile and construction of the vast network of highways that gave motorists a route to travel were both marvels of the 20th century. Established to facilitate travel across the 3,mile stretch of mountains and prairies between New York and San Francisco, the Lincoln Highway predated Route 66 by more than a decade. From until the end of the First World War, cross-country travel along the Lincoln Highway was largely limited to the wealthy few who could afford an automobile and dared to challenge the uneven, ill-defined course of the road.
Route 66 opened the way for the masses to travel. Route 66 was the result of America's infatuation with rapid mobility, mass transportation, and technological change. One significant effect of the increased use of the automobile, according to Davies, was to reduce cross-country travel from an adventure of the affluent and stouthearted to a relatively inexpensive and common occurrence.
The s were the first boom years for the automobile. In , two years before the authorization of the Lincoln Highway, the United States had , registered automobiles, a ratio of about one car for every 5, citizens. The subsequent decade saw the addition of more than 17 million cars, trucks, and buses to America's motor fleet.
This figure increased 6. Not surprisingly, Americans demanded improved highways to serve the growing number of vehicles on America's roadways. The Federal Government's early response to these demands first breathed life into Route Although entrepreneurs Cyrus Avery of Tulsa, Oklahoma and John Woodruff of Springfield, Missouri deserve most of the credit for promoting the idea of an interregional link between Chicago and Los Angeles, their lobbying efforts were not successful until their dreams merged with the national program of highway and road development.
While legislation for public highways first appeared in with revisions in , it was not until Congress enacted a more comprehensive version of the law in that the government executed its plan for national highway construction. Officially, the Chicago-to-Los Angeles route received the numerical designation of Route 66 in the summer of That designation acknowledged the route as one of the nation's principal east-west arteries.
From the outset, public road planners intended U. Oklahoma achieved statehood in , but before , Cyrus Avery's hometown of Tulsa, and most of what was once called "Indian Territory," had few improved roads. In those days, driving the miles of uneven dirt roads from Tulsa to Oklahoma City took six hours. Both admitted to the Union in , scarcely 14 years before the construction of Route 66, New Mexico and Arizona suffered from the same lack of good roads.
Road use in these remote desert States was sporadic. In , New Mexico's Office of the State Engineer reported that only an average of cars used the road daily between Albuquerque and Gallup. Arizona reported a slightly higher daily count of cars, but road conditions were not desirable.
Highway 66 into these desolate western territories would help facilitate their transition to statehood by offering greater access to prospective residents and travelers.
Return to top Route Like other highways in the system, the path of Route 66 was a cobbling together of existing local, State, and national road networks. Extending 2, miles from Chicago to Los Angeles, the new highway wound through eight States and was not completely paved until 12 years after its designation. Many of the merchants in the small and large towns through which the highway passed looked to the road as an economic opportunity to bring much needed outside revenues into their often rural and isolated communities.
Actively promoted in its early years, the highway quickly became a popular transcontinental route, because it offered a route with better weather than alternative east-west roadways.
Spawned by the demands of a rapidly changing America, Route 66 did not follow a traditionally linear course in contrast to the Lincoln, the Dixie, and other highways of its day. Its diagonal route linked hundreds of predominantly rural communities in Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas to Chicago, thus enabling farmers to transport grain and produce for redistribution.
This diagonal configuration was particularly significant to the trucking industry, which by rivaled the railroad for preeminence in the American shipping industry. In addition to its abbreviated route between Chicago and the Pacific coast, Route 66 traversed essentially flat prairie lands and enjoyed a more temperate climate than that of northern highways, further enhancing its appeal to truckers.
Louis trucks increased from approximately 1, per day in to 7, trucks a day a decade later. Twenty-five percent of these were large tractor-truck, semi-trailer outfits. Highway designers intended to make Route 66 "modern" in every sense of the term.
State engineers worked to reduce the number of curves, widen lanes, and ensure all-weather capability. Until , the responsibility for improving existing highways fell almost exclusively to individual States.
The more assertive and financially prepared States met the challenge. In , Illinois boasted approximately 7, miles of paved roads, its entire portion of U.
In contrast, the 1,mile western stretch had not seen a cement mixer, with the exception of California's metropolitan areas. Until the height of the Great Depression, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and the desert communities of southeast California had a collective total of only Highway 66 the "Mother Road.
An estimated , people migrated to California to escape the despair of the Dust Bowl. In the minds of those who endured that particularly painful experience and in the view of generations of children to whom they recounted their story, Route 66 symbolized the "road to opportunity.
Of the more than , refugees who journeyed west to California beginning in the early s, less than 16, people from the Dust Bowl proper ended up in California. The importance of Route 66 to emigrating "Dust Bowlers" during the Depression years received wide publicity. Less is known about the importance of the highway to those who opted to eke out a living in economically devastated Kansas, Oklahoma, West Texas, and New Mexico. During this time, U.
Highway 66 and other major roads in America had integral links to President Roosevelt's revolutionary New Deal programs for work relief and economic recovery. From to , thousands of unemployed male youths from virtually every State were put to work as laborers on road gangs. Because of this monolithic effort, the entire highway from Chicago to Los Angeles had pavement by As the Depression worked its baleful effects on the nation, it also produced an ironic consequence along Route 66; the vast migration of destitute people fleeing from the privation of their former homes actually produced an increased volume of business along the highway, thus providing commercial opportunities for a multitude of low-capital, mom-and-pop businesses.
The buildings constructed for these businesses reflected the independence of the operations, a general absence of standardization, and a decentralized economic structure. At the same time, it became clear that life along Highway 66 presented opportunities not available to the nearby towns and businesses that lost traffic to the important highway and who suffered accordingly. At a very early point it was evident that a major nearby highway could both bring business and take it away.
Completion of the all-weather capability of Route 66 on the eve of World War II was particularly significant to the nation's war effort. The experience of a young Army captain, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who found his command bogged down in spring mud near Fort Riley, Kansas while on a coast-to-coast maneuver, left an indelible impression.
The War Department needed improved highways for rapid mobilization during wartime and for national defense during peacetime. At the outset of American involvement in World War II, the War Department singled out the West as ideal for military training bases, in part because of its geographic isolation and especially because it offered consistently dry weather for air and field maneuvers.
America's mobilization for war after Pearl Harbor underscored the necessity for a systematic network of roads and highways. The War Department's expropriation of the nation's railways left a transportation vacuum in the West that only the trucking industry could fill.
Automobile manufacturers suffered critical shortages of steel, glass, and rubber during the war years, and plants in Detroit converted to the production of tanks, aircraft engines, ordnance, and troop transports.
According to one government source, the production of new cars dropped from 3. At the same time, production of trucks capable of hauling loads in excess of 30, pounds increased to keep pace with wartime demands. Because Route 66 was the shortest corridor between the west coast and the industrial heartland beyond Chicago, mile-long convoys commonly moved troops and supplies from one military reservation to another along the highway.
Route 66 helped to facilitate the single greatest wartime mobilization of labor in the history of the nation. This enormous capital outlay underwrote entirely new industries that created thousands of civilian jobs. By , with the exhaustion of available local labor in most areas on the Pacific Coast, war contractors began a frantic search for skilled and unskilled workers from across the United States. Under the provisions of the West Coast Manpower Plan initiated in September , contractors prepared to offer jobs to , men and women to meet the production demands of global war.
In February , Public Roads Administration Commissioner Thomas MacDonald announced that existing rail and bus transit facilities could accommodate only a small fraction of the 10 million workers required to operate the defense plants. The rest would have to move in private automobiles. They moved in unprecedented numbers. The net result of this mass migration was the loss of more than 1 million people from the metropolitan northeast between and Route 66 played a critical role in this vast movement of Americans to meet the demands of war.
Return to top Postwar Years of Route After the war, Americans were more mobile than ever before. Thousands of soldiers, sailors, and airmen who received military training in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas abandoned the harsh winters of Chicago, New York City, and Boston for the "barbecue culture" of the Southwest and the West. For many, Route 66 facilitated their relocation.
One such emigrant was Robert William Troup, Jr. Bobby Troup, former pianist with the Tommy Dorsey band and ex-Marine captain, penned a lyrical map of the now famous cross-country road. The words of his song, "get your kicks on Route 66," became the catch phrase for countless motorists, who moved back and forth between Chicago and the Pacific coast.
One scholar likened the popular recording released in by Nat King Cole one week after Troup's arrival in Los Angeles to "a cartographic ballad. During the postwar decades, the population shift from "Snowbelt" to "Sunbelt" reached its zenith.
Because of the great influx of people during the war years, California claimed over half of the total population of the West between and The demographic disruption that began in the s continued to stimulate roadside commerce. Storeowners, motel managers, and gas station attendants recognized early on that even the poorest travelers required food, automobile maintenance, and adequate lodging.
Just as New Deal work relief programs provided employment with the construction and the maintenance of Route 66, the appearance of countless tourist courts, garages, and diners promised sustained economic growth after the road's completion. While military use of the highway during wartime ensured the early success of roadside businesses, the demands of the new tourism industry in the postwar decades gave rise to modern facilities that guaranteed long-term prosperity.
The roadside architecture along U. Highway 66 illustrates the evolution of these facilities. Most Americans who drove the route did not stay in hotels; they preferred accommodations more convenient for automobile travelers.
Motels evolved from earlier features of the American roadside such as the auto camp and the tourist home. The auto camp developed as townspeople along Route 66 roped off spaces in which travelers could camp for the night. Camp supervisors, some employed by the various States, provided water, fuel wood, privies or flush toilets, showers, and laundry facilities free of charge.
The successor to the auto camp was the tourist home, which provided many of the same amenities but with the added feature of indoor lodging in the event of inclement weather. The natural outgrowth of the auto camp and tourist home was the cabin camp, sometimes called cottages, which offered minimal comfort at affordable prices. Many of these cottages are still in operation. Eventually, auto camps and cabin camps gave way to motor courts or motels with all of the rooms under a single roof.
Motor courts offered additional amenities such as adjoining restaurants, souvenir shops, and swimming pools.
An estimated 30, motor courts or motels were in operation along the nation's many highways in In the early years of Route 66, service station prototypes developed regionally through experimentation, then spread across the country. Gas stations had distinct buildings clearly associated with a particular petroleum company. Most started as simple house-like buildings with one or two service pumps in front and grew to larger, more elaborate stations complete with service bays and tire outlets.
Route 66 and many of the points of interest along the way were familiar landmarks by the time a new generation of postwar motorists hit the road in the s. Many drew upon memories from excursions with their parents in the s and 50s. World War II transformed the American public from a predominantly agricultural-industrial laboring class to an urban-technological society with increasing leisure and recreational time.
American tourists' fondness for automobile travel and their enjoyment of sightseeing made them ideal targets for the service industries that cropped up along Route A growing fascination with American Indian cultures led to increasing commercialization as public highways penetrated once inaccessible reservations.
Interest in American Indians and the scenic, geologic, and historic wonders protected by the National Park System lured countless sightseers. To the average motorist during the post war period, a trip down Route 66 was an adventure through mainstream America accentuated by mom-and-pop motels, all-night diners, Indian curio shops, and far-too-infrequent restroom facilities. Return to top Demise and Resurgence of interest in Route 66 Excessive truck use during World War II and the comeback of the automobile industry immediately following the war brought great pressure to bear on America's highways.
Automobile production jumped from just over 65, cars in to 3. Meanwhile, the deterioration of the national highway system was appalling. Virtually all roads, including Route 66, were functionally obsolete because of narrow pavements and antiquated structural features that reduced carrying capacity.
Emergency road building measures developed during wartime left bridges and culverts woefully inadequate for postwar needs. In the s, most bridges in Illinois and Missouri used wood as a substitute for steel. Steel reinforcements were virtually nonexistent in concrete pavement, and sporadic maintenance left U. The need for a modern system of national highways was painfully obvious. In , Thomas MacDonald, director of the Public Roads Administration, told of the urgency for improved highways across the country in his report, "Highway for the National Defense.
In anticipation of postwar traffic needs, MacDonald proposed a transcontinental expressway not to exceed 40, miles, designed to connect all of the major metropolitan centers in the United States. National defense priorities during the war, however, tabled MacDonald's proposal until the surrender of Germany and Japan. The Federal Aid Highway Act of incorporated both civilian and military highway needs into a single piece of legislation, the legal embodiment of the MacDonald Plan.
The act incorporated the idea of a 40,mile national system of interstate highways, but Congress failed to appropriate funds for its construction. Not until the s, and the War Department's prediction that the Korean Conflict was merely a prelude to a more widespread involvement in Asia, did the dream of an interstate system of expressways linking all regions of the United States become a reality.
Ironically, the public lobby for rapid mobility and improved highways that gained Route 66 its enormous popularity in earlier decades also signaled its demise beginning in the mids. Mass support for an interstate system of divided highways markedly increased during President Dwight D. Eisenhower's second term in the White House. General Eisenhower returned from Germany very impressed by the strategic value of Hitler's Autobahn.
Congress responded to the president's commitment by passing the Federal Aid Highway Act of , which provided a comprehensive financial umbrella to underwrite the cost of the national interstate and defense highway system. In accord with the legislation, Interstate 40 west from Oklahoma City through the Texas Panhandle, New Mexico, northern Arizona, and finally ending in Barstow, California would replace the major segment of U. By , each of the States along the original U.
By , two equally modern four-lane highways, Interstate 55 between Chicago and St. Louis and Interstate 44, which absorbed the old diagonal section from St. Louis to Oklahoma City, replaced the remaining segments of the original Route The committee noted that "U.
Various Route 66 alignments, many still detectable, illustrate the evolution of road engineering from coexistence with the surrounding landscape to domination of it. One outstanding example of the highway in its early form is the 3. Many of the original segments of Route 66 have been either abandoned or modified for secondary use. Modern improvements such as widened shoulders, adequate swales, gentler curves, resurfaced pavement, and brightly painted safety stripes have not been able to keep the highway from becoming obsolete.
The last outdated, poorly maintained vestiges of U. Highway 66 succumbed to the interstate system in October when Interstate 40 at Williams, Arizona, replaced the final section of the original road.
In , the highway was officially decommissioned. Soon after, members of the public, private organizations, and local, State, and Federal agencies who understood the historic and social significance of the road began campaigns to preserve and commemorate the highway.
As part of these efforts, many historic resources associated with Route 66 have been nominated and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Numerous associations developed to promote travel and preservation of the road. Businesses along the road began catering to tourists who continued to seek out the alignments of the route.
This program provides financial and technical assistance to individuals; nonprofits; local, State, tribal and Federal agencies; and others to help preserve the most significant and representative historic resources along the route for people to learn from and enjoy.
Return to top List of Sites The sites are listed in the geographical order driving from east to west along Route 66, starting in Chicago and ending in Los Angeles. Nowhere is it more so than in downtown Chicago, where the quintessential American corridor begins, or ends, depending on your perspective, at Grant Park.
Located in close proximity to Lake Michigan, Grant Park is one of the oldest parks in the city and had its beginnings in the s, but the World Exposition was a catalyst for its historic significance. Running from May to October of , the fair covered acres and attracted numbers equal to nearly half of the United States population. The fair introduced several firsts, including Cracker Jacks, Aunt Jemima syrup, diet soda, and Pabst beer.
It also introduced the idea of making Grant Park a major civic and cultural landmark. Grand promenades, groomed lawns, and numerous bridges and fountains, along with modern installations of art and three major historic cultural institutions for the public--the Art Institute, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum of Natural History--all distinguish the park. Statues of Christopher Columbus, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S Grant, and various other equestrian sculptures provide visual focus for various areas.
Built in , the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain is a monumental focal point. The park hosts public appearances of famous people, special events, and festivals and serves as a neighborhood park used for baseball games, ice skating, tennis, walking, jogging, and other amusements.
Pairing Grant Park with Route 66, the major east-west automobile artery, was a natural choice. In , Illinois began paving the road.
By the time Route 66 came along, the entire Pontiac Trail had pavement. Chicago sported numerous services to accommodate travelers, including its parkland gem, Grant Park.
The park is bounded on the north by Randolph Dr. The park is open Monday-Friday 9: For information on visiting the Shedd Aquarium, see the aquarium website. For information on visiting the Field Museum, see the museum website. The Grant Park National Register nomination form can be found here.
A visit to this crowded, urban establishment is not your average main street experience. It serves to remind us that the hundreds of small towns strung along the great arc of the Mother Road were connected to the two metropolitan giants of Los Angeles and Chicago. Visitors immediately focus on the original aluminum and glass storefront.
The dining room retains its original black and white terrazzo flooring, and most of the dining and counteareas are unchanged. The booths have their original wood tables, coat racks, and seats, although the seats sport new upholstery.
The multi-sided counters with individual stools are original but have newer laminated surfaces and upholstery. Much of the wood and Formica wall paneling dates to All in all, the stylistic choices made in point not backward but to the future, to the s. In the middle of the 20th century, the Mother Road brought people together from all corners of the country as locals and outsiders rubbed shoulders in countless diners, gas stations, and motor courts.
To ease the wait, the staff passes out its famous freshly baked donut holes to all, and complimentary Milk Duds to all female guests and children, according to an old tradition. Once inside, diners have the opportunity to sample some excellent breakfast and lunch fare. Founder William Mitchell, whose original restaurant was across the street on the north side of Jackson Boulevard, named his startup after his son Lou, who worked with other family members helping to run the restaurant.
Lou eventually took over operations and ran the restaurant well into his seventies. In , he sold the restaurant to his niece, Katherine Thanas. It remains in the Thanas family today. The restaurant is open Monday-Saturday 5: The restaurant's National Register nomination form can be found here. This establishment also stands out as an impressive example of survival along the Mother Road.
The Chicken Basket began in the s as a mere lunch counter attached to a service station in then rural Hinsdale. This mix and match of functions was typical for Route 66 establishments, which often operated on very thin profit margins that allowed them to be creative in attracting customers. Legend has it that in the late s two local farm women offered a deal to the original owner, Irv Kolarik, who was looking to expand his food menu.
They would reveal their excellent fried chicken recipe to Mr. Kolarik and his customers if he would promise to buy the necessary chickens from them. To sweeten the deal, the women offered to teach him how to actually fry the chicken. Soon, the service station was history and the Chicken Basket was born. It was established at a very special time for Route Built in , the new Chicken Basket opened its doors just as Jack D.
Rittenhouse was putting the finishing touches on his now famous travelogue, A Guide Book to Highway 66, a publication that heralded the great postwar boom in business and travel all along Route Stoyke, who designed several residences and commercial buildings in the vicinity, is also responsible for this one-story brick building constructed in the no-nonsense, utilitarian commercial style of the immediate postwar period.
Over all, the restaurant retains much of its original appearance. A canvas awning typical of the period covers the entire window bay. The restaurant has a flat, steel roof that did double duty in the s. To attract customers, Mr. Kolarik flooded the roof in winter and hired youths to ice skate on top of the building! The large dining room has painted brick walls, carpeted floors, and its original drywall ceiling. A cocktail lounge, added in as business continued to boom, retains its original bar and diagonal and vertical wood paneling.
In front of the building stands the original neon and metal sign. Although the restaurant had flourished since , the coming of the four lane, limited access to I in Hinsdale and in quickly siphoned off traffic and customers from Route Business plummeted, and in that very same year a local bank foreclosed on the property.
The Chicken Basket managed to escape the fate of so many other establishments along the Mother Road in the age of the interstate.
Today, the restaurant flourishes under the direction of his son, Patrick Rhea. The restaurant is closed Mondays and open Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday, The Blue Rooster Lounge is open every day except Monday and features live music and events. For more information, call or visit the Chicken Basket website.
The original building Jack Shore built consisted of an office with wood clapboard siding, an arched roof with asphalt shingles, and residential windows adorned with shutters and flower boxes. Extending out from the office over three Texaco gas pumps was a sheltering canopy supported by two tapered columns.
Shore also constructed an ice house located on the property. But this domestic style, common along Route 66, had a distinct purpose and stems from a time in the early 20th century when gas stations were just beginning to seriously intrude upon the suburban landscape of America. The oil companies wisely opted to tread lightly on this new, non-commercial territory.
Gas stations were consciously styled to be homey and inviting to customers, as well as inconspicuous in their new residential, suburban surroundings.
In the early s, following a national trend that saw gas stations evolve to full service garages, Mr. Ambler added a service bay of simple concrete block to the north side of the original building. Although he left the station in , the station continued servicing motorists until nearly the turn of the 21st century, making it one of the oldest continually operated service stations along the Mother Road.
Windows were removed and added, fresh paint applied, and new roofing laid down. The tall, elegant red pumps of the s gave way to the squat dispensers of the s; and Marathon Oil eventually superseded the Texaco Fire Chief brand. The station operated as a gas station for 66 years until and was an auto repair shop until , when the owner Phillip Becker generously donated the station to the Village of Dwight.
For more information, call This was the beginning of the Standard Oil Trust Company that would soon dominate oil refineries and gas stations around America. In , the Standard Oil Company set up its first company in Illinois. There he built a gas station based on a Standard Oil of Ohio design, commonly known as a domestic style gas station. This association created an atmosphere of trust for commercial and recreational travelers of the day.
The station originally sold Standard Oil products, but after O'Donnell leased the property to others, the station began selling Sinclair and the now famous Phillips The gas station was in constant use during the heyday of travel on Route It was a welcomed rest stop for weary travelers and a place for the kids to get out and stretch their legs.
The station sold gasoline until the s and then became an auto body shop until the late s, when it closed its doors for good. It fell into disrepair and would have been destroyed had it not been for the town of Odell and the people who loved their gas station. In , the station was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
A Standard Oil sign hanging from the roof swings gently in the warm breeze and an old-fashioned gas pump looks ready to serve the next customer. Owned by the Village of Odell, the station is open daily Contact Odell Tourism and Community Development for information at The station's National Register nomination form can be found here. Illinois State Police Office , Pontiac, Illinois Built in , the District 6 Illinois State Police office is an example of sleek Art Moderne architecture that reflects the streamlined design of automobiles of the era.
The building has curved corners, smooth surfaces, and structural glass bricks, all elements typical of Art Moderne design. Facing an abandoned two-lane section of old Route 66, the office is modest. Motorists could easily drive right past it without realizing its considerable significance, but slow down two miles south of Pontiac and take a look at the building.
They used surplus World War I uniforms pieces included a snug cap, long-sleeved shirt, vest, jodhpurs, and boots to the knee and motorcycles, and they did not wear helmets.
By , 20 officers were on patrol, covering , miles of road. Doing the math, that comes to 5, miles of road per officer per day. Little wonder, then, that the force grew rapidly. Four years later, Illinois State Police employed a chief, 12 sergeants, officers, and six mechanics. That was the year that troopers got their first patrol cars Chrysler Coupes issued only to sergeants. With bug-eyed headlights, wheels with spokes, wide running boards, and an extra tire mounted on the back, the Chryslers were chunky, squarish cars, much like early Fords.
About this time, Illinois began building police headquarters in various districts across the State. By , the Pontiac station was in operation, with one wing for administration and a second wing for garages. The utilitarian, sleek interior was finished out with terrazzo floors, plaster walls, and built-in cupboards.
Traffic along Route 66 continued to increase throughout the s, and the headquarters was busy round the clock. In , the route was widened to four lanes through this region of Illinois, and two additional highway lanes were constructed directly in front of the building. Speed limits were imposed during the s. By then, officers drove distinctively marked black and white cars with crackling radios and flashing blue lights. Their work had a clear focus--reducing the rapidly rising death toll from highway accidents The construction of Interstate 55, about a half mile to the west of Route 66 during the s, led to a decrease in traffic on Route The Illinois State Police remained headquartered in the building until when the police moved to a new facility in Pontiac.
The historic headquarters is vacant today, but remains an important local landmark. It was listed in the National Register in Livingston County has plans to develop the site for public use as a park. At its center will be the building that housed for nearly seven decades the officers who maintained a constant and critical presence on this section of Route The building is not open to the public.
The National Register nomination for the building can be found here. By the late s, the Mother Road supported stand-alone gas stations--usually two pumps beneath a canopy with a simple office attached.
Over time, gas station buildings became more substantial. Architects for these companies provided functional, standardized station designs. Drivers could glance at a white building with three green stripes, for example, and know at once that because of the recognizable icon it was a Texaco station.
Like other small entrepreneurs of the time, Sprague took a different approach. A building contractor, he constructed his large, unique, brick, Tudor Revival gas station using high-quality materials and craftsmanship. Steep gables distinguished the broad, red roofline.
Substantial brick peers supported the canopy. Stucco with decorative swirls and contrasting half timbering distinguished the second story. Distinctiveness was important—just like brand-name operators, independent operators had to create brand loyalty, even if their brand was their individual operation. They also worked to promote their identity as good neighbors and local producers, setting themselves in opposition to corporations, which they defined as large and impersonal.
The Tudor Revival style Sprague chose for his station, with its historical and domestic overtones, helped to both establish a local, homey identity and promote a conservative, rural aesthetic. In the depressed s, when gas far outstripped consumers, independent operators could use this civic persona to help sell their gasoline. Visitors can easily imagine the s, when Chevrolets, Buicks, and Plymouths pulled up under the canopy, and the station attendant pumped their tanks full of gasoline at 10 cents a gallon.
These enterprises occupied the ground floor of the building. Upstairs, a spacious apartment, complete with a sun room over the gas pump canopy, housed Sprague and his family. A second upstairs apartment housed the station attendant. Throughout the s, most people passing through Bloomington-Normal from north or south traveled Pine Street.
In , the new four-lane Route 66 opened around the east side of Bloomington, siphoning through-traffic off of East Pine Street. Some traffic still took the Business Route 66 into Normal, so the station remained open, but the property changed hands many times as each new owner sought business opportunities with more appeal for local clientele.
The station was vacant for part of World War II when gasoline and repair parts were scarce. Beginning in , immediately after the war, the owners still sold gas and food, but they added other enterprises as well. So did a bridal store, cake gallery, and catering operation. Since the s, these other enterprises have supplanted the gas station function of the building; the pumps were removed in The present owner purchased the building in and it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in Plans are underway to rehabilitate the lower level of the station for use as a visitor center, restaurant, tea room, and meeting and performance space.
The owners would also like to use the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit to help defray the costs of rehabilitating registered historic buildings in the project. The National Register nomination form for the building can be found here. More information about the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program can be found here. Louis, Atlanta was a natural transportation and commercial center for central Illinois.
By , the site was something of a boom town with more than 40 commercial buildings, all built of wood. Therein lay a problem. During the following few years, several fires razed complete blocks of the commercial district, convincing local businesspeople, including Alexander Downey, who lost a building to one of the fires, to rebuild with brick. Of Italianate design with distinctive arched windows on both of its two stories, the building helped give Arch Street its flavor and its name.
The southern half of the building was first occupied by the Exchange Bank of Atlanta, soon followed by the First National Bank of Atlanta who occupied the space for many years. After the turn of the century, the father and son law firm of J.
After Frank Bevan's death in , the local paper Atlanta Argus published there until a fire closed the building in In , after sitting vacant for many years, the heirs of the Bevan family donated this half of the building to the Atlanta Public Library and Museum.
The north half of the building attracted a different kind of business entirely. Used at first as a millenary shop, a hardware store, and a grocery, the north side of the Downey really came to life in when Robert Adams opened the Palms Grill there. Route Atlanta, Now Open for Business. Plate lunch 25 cents. At the bottom of the sign was a light that, when burning, indicated that passengers were inside the grill ready to board the next Greyhound bus coming through town.
The Palms advertised dancing either every night or on certain nights of the week, and during the s, locals played bingo there.
According to local legend, the Palms attracted its share of celebrities. The most famous was boxer Max Baer, then heavyweight champion of the world. Louis where Baer had a theatrical engagement. When the Palms closed in the s, the space remained empty for several years.
John Hawkins acquired this north side of the building by and remodeled the first floor for use as a living area and workshop. In , the Hawkins family donated the north half of the building to the Atlanta Public Library and Museum. Bill Thomas, who was deeply involved in the project to open the museum and library, calls the listing a crucial first step because of the funding opportunities it enabled.
Today the Downey Building, located in an historic area, has been restored and houses the Palms Grill and Atlanta Museum. Downtown is also the site of the Atlanta Betterment Fest, not to be missed each summer. Call for information or visit the Palms Grill Cafe website. The first floor is wheelchair accessible and the museum is free.
Upon closer examination, however, their venture was far from rash. During the Depression, even though millions of people were out of work, some pockets of the economy remained afloat. As a veteran restaurateur, he knew the viability of a good restaurant even in hard times. He also seemed keenly aware of the business possibilities of Route 66 in Illinois. Even during the Depression, traffic on this well paved road remained steady. In , the State of Illinois reported that Route 66 was the heaviest traveled long-distance highway in the State.
Adam installed two gas pumps in front in hopes of attracting more customers, a practice typical of Route 66 restaurants during this period. A full service menu from offered diners porterhouse steak at 85 cents, bacon and eggs or a BLT for a quarter, and a glass of Budweiser for 15 cents. Despite the addition in the s of a banquet wing on the north facade and some new front doors and awnings, the original building--in its stark, utilitarian commercial style of the period-- still stands proud.
Noteworthy is its Alamo-like parapet with glazed terra cotta coping and its finely crafted exterior brickwork. The original dining section still retains its acoustical tile ceiling.
The rear exterior of the restaurant tells an interesting story about the need for adaptation and creative thinking when doing business along the Mother Road. Physically turning the restaurant around was not an option, so Pete Adam simply put up attractive neon signage on the rear of the building, beckoning Mother Roaders to drive around to the front.
It worked, and the restaurant has been open for business since When founder Pete Adam died, his son Nick took over the operation, and he remains at the helm today. In , the Cerollas built a one-room, frame gas station with a single pump, offering oil, grease and fan belts for travelers on Route By ,the Cerollas had expanded their tiny gas station into a one-stop, multi-service, roadside complex.
The Belvidere had a small dance floor, a juke box, and the occasional small combo. But most of all, the Belvidere had Mary Levy. Considered a treasure at the Belvidere, Mary played the piano and sang. No customer was a stranger to Mary.
Locals and Route 66 travelers alike felt welcome at the lively Belvidere. By , Vincenzo and Albina had passed away, leaving the business to Edith and Lester. When 66 still went by, you met people—you talked to them. They built a new home on the property and expanded the motel, just in time to take advantage of the increase in Route 66 traffic following World War II.
The s and even the s were good to the Belvidere, but the following decade was not. When use of Route 66 waned, so did the fortunes of the Belvidere. Today the buildings are used primarily for storage, although some still serve as motel rooms, but they are well worth a stop as you travel Route While many motels, cafes, and gas stations have been documented along the historic highway, the Belvidere is one of the best preserved complexes of its type.
It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in , and is a classic example of a family-run roadside enterprise that for two generations and three decades served as a gathering place, a respite, and a memorable stop along the way.
Call for more information. Soulsby Service Station , Mount Olive, Illinois The advent of the national road system in ushered in a golden age for mom-and-pop entrepreneurs. For Henry Soulsby of Mount Olive, it happened just in time. Soulsby followed his father, an Irish immigrant, into mining, but in the mids an injury forced him aboveground. Understanding that a national highway would soon pass through Mount Olive, he invested most of his life savings in two lots at the corner of 1st Street, now called Old Route With the balance he built a gas station.
The Soulsby Station is an excellent example of a house with canopy form. By the time Mr. Soulsby built his station in , the leading oil companies had been hiring architects to design stations that would blend well with neighborhoods to minimize local opposition to the crudeness often associated with gas stations.
Soulsby designed the building himself, taking into account these trends and blending well with the surrounding area.
Although the Great Depression soon began, the station thrived. America was broke, but it was still traveling. Each was as adept as the other at pumping gas, checking the oil, and looking under the hood or chassis to detect and fix problems.
Russell always had an eye for technology. Shortly after coming home, he turned his experience into a second, simultaneous career--radio and television repair. He used an antenna on the roof of the station to test his work. Route 66 was a great agent of progress and development, but its very success helped spell its doom. In the late s, Interstate 55 began supplanting it in Illinois. In Mount Olive, the Soulsby Station ended up a mile away from the new thoroughfare.
In , the Soulsby Station stopped pumping gas but continued to check oil, sell soda pop, and greet the ever-growing legion of Route 66 tourists.
Sending everyone off with a wink and a wave, Russell and Ola closed the doors for good in and sold the station in to a neighbor, Mike Dragovich. When Russell Soulsby died in , his funeral procession took him under the canopy one last time. The current owner, Mr. Dragovich, and the Soulsby Preservation Society began preservation efforts in , removing vinyl siding, restoring the original doors and windows, and repainting the exterior.
In , the National Park Service provided grant support for restoration efforts. Today, the station looks essentially the same as it did during its post-World War II heyday. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in Plans are underway to open the station as a museum. For more than three decades, the bridge was a significant landmark for travelers driving Route Multiple rock ledges just under the surface made this stretch of the Mississippi River extremely dangerous to navigate.
In the s, the Corps of Engineers built a low-water dam covering the Chain of Rocks. Back in , at the time of the construction of the bridge, the Chain was a serious concern for boatmen. The bridge was to be a straight, foot wide roadway with five trusses forming 10 spans. Massive concrete piers standing 55 feet above the high-water mark were to support the structure.
All that proved true except for one major change--in direction. Riverboat men protested the planned bridge because it was to run near two water intake towers for the Chain of Rocks pumping station.
Navigating the bridge piers and the towers at the same time, the river captains argued, would be extremely treacherous for vessels and barges. Besides, the initial straight line would have put the bridge over a section of the river where the bedrock was insufficient to support the weight of the piers. Either way, the bridge had to bend.
Construction started on both sides of the river simultaneously in , and the piers were complete by August of The Mississippi River had other plans. Floods and ice slowed the work, and the Chain of Rocks Bridge finally opened to traffic in July of Then, as now, actual expenditures for construction often exceed projected costs.
The bridge had beautifully landscaped approaches. A park-like setting around a pool and a large, ornate toll booth anchored the Missouri end.
On the Illinois side, elm trees lined the approach. The bridge brought travelers into St. Louis by way of the picturesque Chain of Rocks amusement park on the Missouri hills overlooking the river. On a clear day, crossing the Chain of Rocks Bridge was a real pleasure. That pleasure became an official part of the Route 66 experience in , when the highway was rerouted over the bridge. At the same time, wartime gas rationing reduced traffic. In , the New Chain of Rocks Bridge carrying Interstate opened just 2, feet upstream of the old bridge, which closed in The bridge deteriorated, and during the s, Army demolition teams considered blowing it up just for practice.
In , demolition seemed eminent. Fortunately for the bridge, a bad market saved the day. The value of scrap steel plummeted, making demolition no longer profitable.
At that point, the Chain of Rocks Bridge entered 20 years of bridge limbo--too expensive to tear down, too narrow and outdated to carry modern vehicles. In , film director John Carpenter used the gritty, rusting bridge as a site for his science fiction film, Escape from New York. Otherwise, the bridge was abandoned. Today you might say that the Chain of Rocks Bridge has completed a historic cycle. During the s, greenways and pedestrian corridors became increasingly popular, and a group called Trailnet began cleanup and restoration of the bridge.
Linked to more than miles of trails on both sides of the river, the old Chain of Rocks Bridge reopened to the public as part of the Route 66 Bikeway in Because the bridge has not been significantly altered over the years, a visit there today conveys a strong sense of time and place, an appreciation for earlyth-century bridge construction, and outstanding views of the wide Mississippi River.
Chain of Rocks Bridge parallels U. Louis Riverfront Trail, and free parking is available in Illinois at the bridge entrance and at North Riverfront Park, south of the bridge along the Riverfront Trail. It is strongly advised to avoid leaving any valuables in your car. Park at your own risk. The bridge is open to bikers and pedestrians daily from 9: Call for information or visit the Trailnet website.
The National Register nomination form for the bridge can be found here. Return to top Illinois Road Segments For the most part, Illinois Route 66 glides evenly and easily through the State in a southwest-northeast diagonal alignment between Chicago and St.
The Illinois section of historic Route 66 has a relatively level alignment. Due to Ice Age glaciers that scraped much of the upper Midwest flat, the Illinois Route 66 roadbed was never to offer motorists the thrilling or terrifying switchbacks, dips, and cuts encountered along the southwestern portions of the Mother Road. Unlike many other segments of Route 66, Illinois Route 66 runs through a densely populated, highly developed State.
By the mid s, Illinois already had a considerable infrastructure, including a modern road network. Due to population and development pressures, Illinois Route 66 received constant ongoing repairs, upgrades, widening, resurfacing, and even rerouting.
A distinguishing feature of the history of Illinois Route 66 was the speed of its evolution. From its very first years, engineers worked to bypass as many rural towns as possible to ensure a speedy and unobstructed flow of the ever-increasing traffic between Chicago and St. Thus from the time of its birth, Illinois Route 66 was already moving away from its classic main street course toward the model of its interstate successor and its own demise.
With the designation of Route 66 as a strategic defense highway during World War II, the process of change accelerated. Even as the war raged, the road received significant upgrading, much of it pointing toward the four-lane limited access interstate system of the s. The role of the Federal Government, especially its far-reaching Federal Defense Highway Act of , was critical in the funding of these efforts.
Every change in the Mother Road type and its route meant something good or bad for the people along the road.
A major rerouting could bring welcomed business and travelers to the new corridor, but it also could painfully wound the areas left behind. The modern upgrade to a four-lane, limited access road was a boon to motorists but could spell disaster to the bypassed roadside establishment. The story of Route 66 is about individuals and businesses adapting, successfully or not, to the winds of change.
In the course of its many transfigurations over the decades, the Mother Road gave--but also took away. The Road Segments Route 66 in Illinois is a very tenacious road. The six road segments below are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Individually and collectively they offer the traveler insights into the engineering achievement and evolution of Illinois Route The segments of Alternate Route 66, Wilmington to Joliet, Route 66, Cayuga to Chenoa, and Route 66 Litchfield to Mount Olive, are significant as wartime and postwar upgrades during the years to