Friday, March 25 | Submitted by | Downtown Central
Springfield’s stretch of Route 66 was nominated for America’s Main Street — a fan-vote contest to determine the winner of $25,000 cash. You can vote every day! If Springfield wins, it will use the 25-large to enhance the Rt. 66 corridor and Roadside Park.
2015 Birthplace of Route 66 Festival
Why should you vote for Springfield as America’s Main Street?
Route 66, also known as the Mother Road and Main Street of America, was officially named “U.S. 66” via telegram at a meeting of highway officials in Springfield, Missouri on April 30, 1926. The stage was set for what would become not only the country’s first cross-country highway, but an enduring piece of Americana that travelers from around the world still yearn to experience. Today, millions of dollars in revitalization along Route 66 can be seen throughout Springfield. Four iconic buildings were converted on Park Central East into loft apartments for $35 million. Gillioz Theatre hosts national entertainers and Springfield’s own late night talk show. Heer’s, the region’s largest department store during Route 66’s heydays, reopened last fall after a $15 million renovation for a national IT office and 80 lofts. The History Museum on the Square is under construction for a $20 million complex. Mother’s Brewing is one of the fastest growing craft breweries in the country. The Convention and Visitors Bureau’s welcome center was remodeled with a Route 66 theme and attracts thousands of international visitors. Local Route 66 cultural icons such as Rail Haven Motel, Steak n Shake, and Bud’s Tire thrive as ambassadors for the Mother Road. The City of Springfield embraced the “Birthplace of Rt. 66” by creating a Roadside Park and joining West Central Neighborhood in hosting the fifth annual festival which drew a record 23,000 people and 500 classic cars last year. However, work to attract new investment along Rt. 66 is far from complete. Funding from America’s Main Streets Contest will be leveraged with public and private partners to enhance wayfinding along the corridor and construct key components for the Roadside Park. We ask for your help in allowing future generations to get their kicks on the Main Street of America!