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"Atlanta: Midway on Illinois’ Mother Road" Mural
Address: Downtown Atlanta  Show Map  Get Directions
City: Atlanta, IL
Phone: 217-732-8687
Designed by Bill Diaz of Pontiac, Illinois, the “Atlanta: Midway on Illinois’ Mother Road” mural captures the spirit of Atlanta’s place on Route 66. Location approximately 150 miles from both Chicago and St. Louis, Atlanta occupies a central spot in the state where the road began. Bill Diaz designed this 20’ x 6’ mural on several large metal panels that were framed together and mounted. The mural was completed in June 2003 during the “LetterRip on Rt. 66” gathering of approximately 100 Letterheads in Atlanta.
"Firehouse Tribute" Mural
Address: SE Vine Street  Show Map  Get Directions
City: Atlanta, IL
Phone: 217-732-8687
Stephen “Conman” Conner of Odell, Illinois painted his first mural at the age of 14 in 1986 and his first paying mural at the age of 20. Conman designed the “Firehouse Tribute” mural in June 2003 during the “LetterRip on Rt. 66” gathering of approximately 100 Letterheads in Atlanta. The mural is a tribute to the men and women of Atlanta who give of themselves in service to the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department.
"J.M. Judy & Sons" Mural
Address: 110 SW Arch Street  Show Map  Get Directions
City: Atlanta, IL
Phone: 217-732-8687
During the 1890’s, J.M. Judy operated his grocery store on the first floor of this, the Union building. As the 70’ x 15’ mural attests, Mr. Judy also dealt in Queensware, a popular china pattern of the day, notions, and musical merchandise. Bill Diaz of Pontiac, Illinois created this design using a photo taken in the early 1900s of the original J. M. Judy & Sons mural that adorned the side of the building. This mural was completed in June 2002 during the “Rt. 66 Firecracker Walldog Jam” gathering of approximately 35 Letterheads in Atlanta.
"Palm's Grill Cafe" Mural
Address: 103 SW Arch Street  Show Map  Get Directions
City: Atlanta, IL
Phone: 217-732-8687
In his design of the “Palms Grill Café” mural, Steve Estes of Possum Trot, Kentucky, captured the intent of the “Grill’s” first owner, Robert Adams, an Atlanta native, who named it after a restaurant he frequented during trips to California. The mural was completed in June 2003 during the “LetterRip on Rt. 66” gathering of approximately 100 Letterheads in Atlanta.
"Reisch Beer" Mural
Address: SW Arch Street  Show Map  Get Directions
City: Atlanta, IL
Phone: 217-732-8687
“Reisch Beer will Give You Health and Strength” - or so claimed the original “Reisch Beer” mural still faintly visible of the second story, opposite side, of this building. Franz Reisch erected the building in 1894 as an outlet for the product of his Reisch Brewing Co. located in Springfield, IL. The peacock logo on the original mural is nearly illegible. If not for the discovery of a 1919 postcard on which it was clearly printed, it could not have been recreated by Dave “Herbie” Estes of Gilbertsville, Kentucky who use the original mural as an inspiration for his design and execution of this current “Reisch Beer” mural. This mural was completed in June 2003 during the “LetterRip on Rt. 66” gathering of approximately 100 Letterheads in Atlanta.
"Wisteria Cafe" Mural
Address: SW Arch Street  Show Map  Get Directions
City: Atlanta, IL
Phone: 217-732-8687
In the 1920s, the place in Atlanta for a cool ice cream soda, a fresh cigar, or a “fancy” candy treat was the Wisteria Café & Confectionery. Using an original advertising copy from The Atlanta Argus, Nancy Bennett of Centerville, Iowa designed the “Wisteria Café” mural. According to its ads, the Wisteria also specialized in “Chicken Dinners - Noon and Night During Fair Week - Only 50 Cents”. The Wisteria’s interior must have been an especially inviting spot during the summer months, as attested to by its “Kome, Keep Kool” slogan. This mural was completed in June 2003 during the “LetterRip on Rt. 66” gathering of approximately 100 Letterheads in Atlanta.
A. E. Church Building
Address: 106/108 SW Arch Street  Get Directions
City: Atlanta, IL
Phone: 217-648-5077
Constructed in 1893, this building located at 106/108 SW Arch Street in downtown Atlanta was originally known as Church’s Furniture Store & Funeral Home. The A.E. Church Building is one of Atlanta’s best-preserved examples of late 19th century architecture. Unlink many of the commercial structures along Arch Street, neither the first or second stories of the Church’s Building’s façade were designed to reflect the name of the street on which the property was located. Mr. Church was active in Atlanta’s commercial and cultural affairs. He not only successfully operated his furniture store and funeral home business, he also organized and led “Church’s Band” a well-known and popular element of Atlanta’s cultural scene for many years.
Bunyon's Statue
Address: 103 SW Arch Street  Show Map  Get Directions
City: Atlanta, IL
Phone: 217-732-8687
During the heyday of Route 66, travelers passed hundreds of signs, murals, and other forms of roadside advertising, each hoping to grab its share of attention. Among the more famous of these stood the fiberglass giants created during the 1960s by International Fiberglass of Venice, California. In 1965, H. A. Stephens purchased one of these giants, swapped its original axe for a hotdog, and placed it in front of his restaurant on Route 66 in Cicero, Illinois. Mr. Stephens purposefully misspelled the name of his business “Bunyon’s” to avoid a potential trademark conflict with the Paul Bunyan Café. A legend was born, and over the next 38 years, “Bunyon’s Statue” became a Route 66 landmark. Today, Bunyon’s Statue remains a Route 66 icon and is now on loan to the community of Atlanta, where he graciously welcomes all Route 66 travelers and children to this friendly, hospitable community.
Downey Building
Address: 110/112 SW Arch Street  Get Directions
City: Atlanta, IL
Phone: 217-648-5077
In 1867, Alexander Downey, one of Atlanta’s prominent businessmen, constructed this two-story brick building after a fire two years earlier destroyed the wooden commercial building that originally stood at this location. The Downey Building was designed to house two separate commercial enterprises at the street level, and originally featured large arched windows on its first floor, in keeping with the “theme” of the design of the other commercial properties along Arch Street here in Atlanta’s business district. Over time the first floor was “modernized”, but the Downey Building still reflects a connection to Arch Street in the window details of its second story. A staircase located through an arched doorway in the center of the first floor façade leads to a joint second story and separates the building’s two ground floor spaces.
Elkhart Gas Station
Address: Old Route 66 & Governor Oglesby Street  Get Directions
City: Elkhart, IL
Phone: 217-947-2046
On the corner of Old Route 66 and Governor Oglesby street in Elkhart stands a relic of the Route 66 days. Though empty now, the Elkhart Gas Station stands as a reminder of America’s Mother Road.