September 25, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

City of Springfield to launch fundraising efforts for Route 66 Roadside Park

The City of Springfield will launch efforts Wednesday, Oct. 2 to build a roadside park celebrating the city's history as the birthplace of Route 66. Several donations will be announced at a kick-off party 5-7 p.m. at Mother's Brewing Company backyard, 215 S. Grant in Springfield.

The City Council recently unanimously approved the use of $100,000 in fund balance reserves from the 1/4 cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax Fund to jumpstart development. These funds will cover preparation of construction contract documents by a consultant for a Route 66 Roadside Park and schematic planning services for the western extent of the Jordan Valley West Meadows Site in Springfield.

The City is partnering with Springfield-based CrowdIt to crowdfund the major elements of the roadside park, which will be a key new landmark of historic Route 66through the city. The crowdfunding project, (www.crowdit.com/route66sgf), will go live during the party, which will feature period music, a few classic cars and food and drink. The roadside park will celebrate the area's Route 66 past by incorporating memories of local Route 66.

As the birthplace of Route 66, Springfield is the first municipality to use crowdfunding to help renovate the renowned national highway. CrowdIt was selected because of its local Springfield roots and early success in the crowdfunding market.

The first fundraiser (which CrowdIt calls "dreams") will be to cover construction costs on a re-creation of the iconic Red's Giant Hamburg sign.
Red's, owned and operated by Sheldon "Red" Chaney and his wife Julia, was a roadside café located on West Chestnut Expressway known for opening the world's first drive-through window. The name was supposed to be Red's Giant Hamburger, but Chaney measured the sign incorrectly and dropped the "er." Red's opened in 1947 and closed in 1984. The building was torn down in 1997.

The new Red's sign will eventually be located in the new roadside park as part of improvements to the College Street corridor between Grant and Kansas Expressway within town.

Other projects will include a filling station replica, vending machines and visitor information; a relocated motor court cottage, with restrooms, and sign replica; a Birthplace of Route 66 sculpture; and, a Lily-Tulip/Solo Cup sculpture.

Help from the general public is needed to make the revitalization dream a reality.

Fundraising incentives:

About the revitalization

The City of Springfield began public meetings in 2011 to cultivate improvement ideas for the area, which is adjacent to the City's West Meadows. Participants focused on the street's history as part of Route 66 and recommended a mixed use Mother's Brewing and Bud's Tire and Wheel anchor the east side of the corridor and officials hope to redevelop the area into a mixed use.

Birthplace of Route 66

Springfield is officially recognized as the birthplace of what became known as the iconic "Mother Road." It was on April 30, 1926 at Park Central Square where officials first proposed U.S. 66 as the name of the new Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway.

Route 66 meandered across the city from Kearney to Glenstone to St. Louis Street, through Park Central Square to Olive and College streets, then headed west along what is now Chestnut Expressway in Springfield.

About CrowdIt

Based in Springfield, MO, CrowdIt (www.crowdit.com) is the first company to bring business networking and support services into the crowdfunding experience. Unlike first-generation crowdfunding sites, CrowdIt offers more than a place to raise capital. It is a community of Dreamers, Believers and Suits who believe in the power of an idea, passion or project. CrowdIt presents an end-to-end crowdfunding community that promotes success after funding, through networking, peer review and expert advice. A start-up, CrowdIt is privately held and backed by venture capital firm Baron VC. For more information, please visit www.crowdit.com.

Media Contacts

Cora Scott , Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, City of Springfield: 417-864-1000 or 417-380-3352; cscott@springfieldmo.gov
Terri Douglas, Catapult PR-IR: 303-581-7760, ext. 18 or 303-808-6820 tdouglas@catapultpr-ir.com.

city of springfield

Department of Public Information

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1010 • Fax: 417-864-1114 • springfieldmo.gov