So we’ve been following the brouhaha over the roof situation at the Rich & Creamy ice cream stand on Broadway Street/IL 53 in Joliet. The fuss is between the stand’s current operators, who rent it, and the landlord, which is the city of Joliet. The stand is an official Route 66 Roadside Attraction, so of course Route 66 aficionados are concerned about its preservation.
The operators figured roof repairs would cost about $19,000, according to one estimate they’d received. The city manager, Tom Thanas, balked at paying that much and hinted that maybe the stand should simply be torn down … until people began complaining and sending him e-mail (which we encouraged). My colleague Joe Kubal, a contributor to this blog, sent his own protest e-mail. But look at the reply Mr. Thanas sent (below): suddenly, his estimate of roof repairs has ballooned to $30,000. WHY??? What could possibly cost that much?
Well! At least one Route 66 roadie (that I know of, anyway) decided to let Joliet, IL City Manager Tom Thanas know that tearing down the Rich & Creamy ice cream stand at 920 N. Broadway St. would be a bad idea. Considering that Route 66 tourists make a special stop to spend their money at the stand, which is an official Route 66 Roadside Attraction on the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, tearing down something that helps bring money and tourists into Joliet seems crazy to us. We hope you agree.
The historic Rich & Creamy ice cream stand on Broadway Street in Joliet, Illinois is an official Route 66 Historic Attraction. Photo copyright 2012 by M.R. Traska; all rights reserved
Last month was a busy time for Route 66 fans in northern Illinois. Not only was it the start of cruising season (technically, that began on Memorial Day weekend, but let’s not split hairs), it was also the month when the Route 66 Association of Illinois had its 24th annual motor tour up and down the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway; the Czechoslovak American Congress and the city of Crest Hill held their annual Lidice remembrance at the monument in town (more on that later this week); and many fellow 66 roadies began their own personal summer road trips down the historic highway. Yes! Please forgive us for posting this so late: we were having too much fun.
The Route 66 Experience is a permanent exhibit at the Joliet Area Historical Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center on Ottawa St. Photo copyright 2012 by M.R. Traska; all rights reserved