It look's like you don't have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now.
Plans are in the works to revitalize the city-owned West Meadows area, located on College Street just east of Fort in downtown Springfield. This week, Hy-Vee is hosting a fifties-themed “party” to raise money for the project. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark reports.
A new plaza, sculptures, a picnic area, a gateway and a Route 66 roadside park are included as part of the revitalization process. One feature they’d like to include in the park is a replica of the Red’s Giant Hamburg sign. Red’s, owned and operated by Sheldon “Red” Chaney and his wife Julia, was the world’s first café to include a drive-through window. Red’s officially opened in 1947 on West Chestnut Expressway, which is part of the Route 66 Highway that runs through Springfield.
The restaurant name was supposed to be Red’s Giant Hamburger, but due to Chaney’s miscalculation of the size of the sign, they dropped the “er” at the end of the name to just “Hamburg.”
Julie Brenner works at Hyvee pharmacy, and is one of the coordinators of the project.
“It was there from the 40s through the 80s as an operating business, and unfortunately the building itself was torn down, I believe in 1997.”
This week, Hyvee is partnering with the city to raise money for the sign replica. Customers can look over the plans for the park, browse Route 66 displays in the store and purchase T-shirts. And Brenner says the Hyvee store is decked in 50s garb.
“We actually have four vehicles in the store, as well as a motorcycle, and we have different attractions. We have Route 66 mapped out throughout the store, tried to highlight a few things along the route in each state. It’s just a special time for people to come in, to come see it, meet our employees—it’s just a really fun event. We’re all dressed up. I’m in a poodle skirt right now.”
The event ends this Sunday (5/12).
For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark