Archive for the ‘Scenic Byways’ Category

Your Chicago: Route 66 Starting Point, CBS 2 Chicago

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

…this segment with news anchor Kate Sullivan appeared on the CBS 2 Chicago 10 p.m. newscast on September 30th, 2011. It can be seen, along with its accompanying text, at the Web page.

If this video makes you hungry for more, please contact me for a tour, a presentation to your library/museum/social group, or to buy a book or postcard! or call me at 312-432-1284! Get your kicks with me on Route 66!

Another Promo for CBS 2 9/30 Route 66 Your Chicago Segment

Friday, September 30th, 2011

… this time I speak! I was asked the question why people come to Chicago from all around the world for their 66 adventure and I said, “It is the adventure of a lifetime that they’ve been looking forward to.” Enjoy!

Promo for CBS 2 Your Chicago Route 66 Segment

Friday, September 30th, 2011

as it appeared on the 9/29/11 newscast with anchor Kate Sullivan. Yours truly is the large guy in the Route 66 Aloha Shirt!

New Superman Movie filming on Chicago’s Route 66

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

…The movie will film from today to next week and will feature shoots around the Willis Tower and the Chicago Board of Trade Building–both prominent features of Route 66 in Chicago. Here’s the story from the Chicago Tribune:

Superman movie sets up shop in the Loop –

More on the IDOT-Vulcan Materials Settlement concerning Joliet Road

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

$40M settles Joliet Road closure dispute :: The SouthtownStar :: News


A company that produces construction materials will pay $40 million to the Illinois Department of Transportation after a 12-year legal dispute about a section of Joliet Road in McCook.

Vulcan Materials Co. does not admit liability in the settlement, which was reached after three weeks of negotiation, IDOT said Tuesday.

The one-mile stretch of Joliet Road from 55th Street to East Avenue was closed in May 1998 because the road was substantially damaged and unsafe for vehicular traffic. The one-mile stretch runs through the middle of two Vulcan open pit quarry mines, one to the north and one to the south.

IDOT experts concluded the roadway was destabilized from years of mining by Vulcan and any attempts to repair and reopen Joliet Road would require frequent and expensive maintenance, including lane closures, IDOT said. Vulcan at the time would not agree to state-requested mining setbacks and land contributions necessary to implement repair options.

The lawsuit was filed by the state in 2001. Vulcan has ceased mining activities in the two quarries and has announced plans to fill and develop the north quarry.

IDOT and Vulcan Settle Joliet Road Lawsuit

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Quoting from a press release and announcement through the PRNewswire:

Vulcan Materials Company today announced the settlement of a lawsuit filed against the Company by the State of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).  IDOT will receive a total of $40 million in full and final settlement of the lawsuit.  

Under terms of the settlement, IDOT will receive $20 million within 10 days. The remaining $20 million will be paid as Vulcan receives funds from its insurers, with the full amount to be paid no later than nine months from the date of the settlement.  While Vulcan believes that the settlement is covered by insurance policies and is taking appropriate actions to facilitate recovery from its insurers, the ultimate amount and timing of such recoveries cannot be predicted with certainty.

More information about how this section of Joliet Road is important to Route 66 is available in two recent blog post on this website, click here or here to see those earlier blog posts.

Two New Presentations from Windy City Road Warrior

Friday, August 21st, 2009

For the last two years, I have enjoyed meeting people at libraries, museums, social meetings, and senior centers while presenting my programs on Route 66, the Plan of Chicago, and the Roads that Lead to Lincoln. Now, I have added two more PowerPoint presentations to our portfolio:

  • The Architects of Chicago’s Route 66, and
  • The Illinois & Michigan Canal: Past and Present
  • 1930s postcard view of Chicago's skyline from Grant ParkThe Architects of Chicago’s Route 66 presentation is based upon an award-winning series of articles that has appeared in the Federation News, the quarterly publication of the National Historic Route 66 Federation, since 2007. The structures along the Route 66 corridor in Chicago, where Route 66 began its western journey, were the face that the city presented to visitors and travelers. Architects whose work graced the Chicago Loop thoroughfares that carried Route 66 traffic (Jackson Boulevard, Michigan Avenue, and Adams Street) include W. W. Boyington, William Le Baron Jenney, Daniel Burnham, John Root, William Holabird, Martin Roche, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mies van der Rohe. This program will look at the reasons why this corridor became a haven for travelers and visitors. It will also explore the evolution and changes of the built environment over the course of the highway’s commissioned life from the perspective of the architectural styles of the designers that shaped it.

    Stonework and footbridge over the I & M Canal at LockportThe Illinois & Michigan Canal: Past and Present will take a look at the long prelude to the building of the canal. Starting with the first exploration of the future canal corridor by French-Canadians Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, through the protection of the area by the U.S. Fort Dearborn, and then the succession of treaties with the Native Americans that ceded control of the area to the Federal government. The promise of the canal, which would create an unbroken navigable highway of water from the Great Lakes to the vast Mississippi River system, led to such decisions as where to draw the border between the new state of Illinois in 1818 and the Wisconsin Territory to the north.

    It was the building of the canal that created a need for a municipality on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan–Chicago. Through this planned city, platted on paper before it ever existed on the swampy tall-grass prairie, it was expected that the goods and commerce transferred between large lake vessels and canal barges would bring wealth to Illinois and create a gateway between the settled east and frontier west.

    The presentation’s final section will be a virtual tour of the Illinois & Michigan Canal corridor as it looks today, and it will showcase many of the places of historical and recreational interest that travelers can visit now. These sites include preserved sections of the canal and its limestone and wood structure in Lemont, Lockport, Morris, and LaSalle, and a look at the marvelous exhibits about early explorations and canal building at Will County’s Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville and the Joliet Area Historical Museum.

    We are also continuing all four of our current presentations, and I am eager to bring them to any venue with an interest. For more information on any of the presentations, please check out the Presentations page on this blog.

    Route 66 Detour in Chicago Starting June 1, 2009

    Sunday, May 31st, 2009

    The warning signs of an impending closure of Jackson Boulevard (eastbound Route 66) have been up for several weeks now, and it will become a reality tomorrow morning after rush hour:

    Jackson Blvd. stretch to close Monday A.M. – Chicago Breaking News

    Quoting from the Tribune article:

    Jackson Boulevard between Canal Street and Wacker Drive is scheduled to close after Monday morning’s rush period for major bridge repairs.

    Traffic will be affected as work begins to rebuild the Jackson viaduct spanning Union Station’s south passenger platforms and 16 tracks, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

    On the website for the Chicago Transit Authority, it is noted that the work on Jackson is expected to last until April 2010. Although only one block of Jackson is being rebuilt, it is a tricky section because it is a viaduct that rises from ground level at Clinton Street to pass above the railroad tracks of Union Station. East of the construction zone is the Jackson double bascule bridge over the Chicago River.

    What does this mean to the Route 66 traveler? Well, if you drive into Chicago on Route 66 eastbound, you will be unaffected all the way to the block that contains Lou Mitchell’s restaurant. You will then need to detour, either by turning south at Clinton Street or north at Canal Street.  I would suggest that the best detour would likely be south on Clinton one block to Van Buren, east (left) on Van Buren across the river to Wacker Drive, north (left) on Wacker back to Jackson, then east (right) on Jackson the rest of the way to the end of 66 at Lake Shore Drive. Westbound Route 66 will not be affected, since it travels on Adams Street.

    The Roads that Lead to Lincoln

    Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

    Click for a look inside Roads that Lead to Lincoln
    2009 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. Since November 2008, I have been traveling to Chicago area libraries presenting a PowerPoint program, The Roads that Lead to Lincoln, a look at Lincoln’s life in Illinois and his contributions to the development of the state through his politics and law practice. The last half of the program is a travelogue of historic sites related to Lincoln that can be seen along three of the National Scenic Byways of Illinois: Route 66, The Great River Road, and the Lincoln Highway.

    The amount of information that I amassed during my research was much more than I could use in a one-hour slide show, so I decided to write a companion book that would allow for greater detail. I have been selling copies of The Roads that Lead to Lincoln: Finding Honest Abe on the Historic Highways of Illinois at my programs since January 2009, and I now have it available on this web site’s Gift Shop page as well. Please take a look and order a couple dozen copies!