The Berwyn Route 66 Museum makes its way to Yelp! Chicago

Surprise, surprise:  a local little gem, the Berwyn Route 66 Museum, now has a listing on  The user-friendly San Francisco-based consumer rating site for all things food, entertainment and service minded allows users and business owners to post free listings.  Users can then review local eateries, groceries, shops and stores, bars, music venues, theaters, museums, galleries, dry cleaners, car mechanics, other service businesses, schools, churches, even doctors’ and dentists’ offices.  Whee!

Exterior, Berwyn Route 66 Museum, 7003 West Ogden Avenue, Berwyn IL

Berwyn Route 66 Museum, 7003 W. Ogden Ave., Berwyn IL  (photo copyright 2013 M.R. Traska)

More than 36 million reviews have been posted in more than a dozen countries with more than 86 million visits since Yelp was founded in 2004.  Even the annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show, which shows off vintage and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles, has its own Yelp listing.  You can find the Route 66 Museum’s Yelp listing here.

Being listed on Yelp should allow the museum to be more easily found by potential visitors, which might significantly help it financially.  Since last year, the museum has been raising funds to restore both the former Berwyn city welcome sign, a historic glass-block-and-marble Art Moderne sculpture that was lit from within by colored lights at night, and the top two cars remaining from a famous but now demolished 1989 automotive sculpture known as the Spindle.  Museum director Jon Fey has the cars in storage in an off-site garage, whereas the glass-block sign is in storage at the museum.  One of those two cars, a 1967 red VW Beetle, was the late sculptor Dustin Shuler’s own vehicle; Fey had it on display at the museum’s tent at last year’s Berwyn Route 66 Car Show in September.  The glass-block sign, on the other hand, once stood on the north side of Ogden Avenue near Lombard Street, greeting westbound travelers on the road; it was replaced late last summer with a new multimedia information kiosk and wayside marker by the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway authority, just before (and in time for) the annual car show.

The museum’s fundraising goal for the Berwyn sign’s restoration and the Save The Spindle campaign is $42,000, according to Fey, whom we visited last week.  Currently, only about $2,000 of that goal has been met.  Reaching that total will be difficult without angel donors, corporate contributions, or patrons because the museum doesn’t charge admission, although visitors are encouraged to leave a donation of their choice.

This is where Route 66 fans and roadies can help.  Route 66 isn’t just about riding the road – it’s about preserving the cultural history of everything about the road, including the towns, businesses and other entities that stood alongside it, such as this museum, which is devoted to automobilia and the history of Route 66 in the Berwyn area.  Support the heritage of Historic Route 66 by sending your donations to executive director Jon Fey at the Berwyn Route 66 Museum, 7003 W. Ogden Ave., Berwyn, IL 60402.  Your gift, no matter how small, will be duly appreciated.  You’ll feel better for having done your part for the route and a good deed, too.  Don’t forget to tell Jon you saw the story here on our book blog.

And do drop by to see the museum’s exhibits when you get the chance!  The place has really improved since its opening in this location a few years ago.  It’s worth the stop.

Until next time,

Interior, Berwyn Route 66 Museum  (photo copyright 2012 by M.R. Traska)

Exhibits at the Berwyn Route 66 Museum     (photo copyright 2012 by M.R. Traska)


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