Thursday, July 12, 2007

Save the Spindle!

What is it about Walgreens and Route 66 roadside attractions? Especially in Illinois, it sometimes seems that wherever there’s a much-loved piece of highway history, Walgreens wants to pave it for a new parking lot. First to go (in my limited and perhaps not-exactly comprehensive study…) was the Cozy Dog hot dog stand in Springfield: in the late 1990s, this 50-year-old landmark was forced to move to new premises when Walgreens wanted its prominent Route 66 corner location. The Cozy Dog survived the move, but the prognosis is less good for another beloved institution: the tower of cars known as The Spindle, standing proudly if incongruously (for now…) in a suburban Chicago shopping center parking lot.

So, if anyone out there wants to adopt the Spindle, drop me a line. Estimates are that it would cost something on the order of $300,000 to move and remake The Spindle in a new location – money well spent to preserve a unique Car Culture artefact.

(Maybe The Spindle could be moved west to Amarillo, to stand alongside that other great critique of American Car Culture, Cadillac Ranch? Someone call Stanley Marsh 3 – quick!)

Here the whole story thus far, as reported in the Chicago Sun-Times.


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