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HISTORIC ROUTE 66

Keeping America’s iconic, 2000-mile Main Street, once a symbol of adventure, from vanishing into the past.

HISTORIC ROUTE 66
Chicago, IL, to Los Angeles, CA, United States
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BACKGROUND

Route 66, once the primary highway from America’s interior to the West Coast, has played a now-legendary role in U.S. history since its designation in 1926. (...)

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HOW WE HELPED

Route 66 was listed on the 2008 World Monuments Watch to draw attention to the complex challenges of preserving not only an iconic cultural landscape, but a historic American experience. Protecting the many sites along the route depends on generating new tourism and economic opportunities for the eight states and countless communities through which it passes. (...)

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WHY IT MATTERS

Starting in the 1960s, drivers largely abandoned Route 66 in favor of newer interstate highways. Today, its surviving businesses are struggling, and its roadside architecture—a tapestry of 20th-century Americana—is deteriorating. Some places are threatened by development. (...)

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IN THE MEDIA
Preservation, Promotion Pays off on Route 66
The State Journal-Register, Saturday, December 7, 2013
Route 66: Highway History
Amarillo Globe-News, Monday, April 30, 2012
Help save endangered sites
Los Angeles Times, Thursday, May 14, 2009
15 Must-See Endangered Cultural Treasures
Smithsonian Magazine, Sunday, March 1, 2009
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Historic Route 66
Wallpaper: Historic Route 66
Historic Route 66
Wallpaper: Historic Route 66
Historic Route 66
Wallpaper: Historic Route 66
Historic Route 66
Wallpaper: Historic Route 66
VIDEOS
World Monuments FundIntroduction to Route 66: The Road Ahead
November, 2013

Route 66: The Road Ahead was a strategic roundtable that brought together representatives from industry, government, community groups, and not-for-profits with the aim of leveraging the knowledge provided by the Route 66 Economic Impact Study toward new opportunities for sustainable development and innovative partnerships. The event was hosted in November 2013 at Disney’s Cars Land in California, as the Disney/Pixar movie Cars helps to tell the story of Route 66 to a new generation. Watch the video that John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer for Walt Disney & Pixar Animation Studios and Principle Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering, prepared for the event. A report on the roundtable will be available in early 2014.

World Monuments FundWorld Monuments Fund 2013 Haiku Contest Winners
July, 2013

For National Poetry Month, World Monuments Fund invited entries for our second annual haiku contest. At World Monuments Fund, several of the conservation projects we have undertaken directly support the conservation of poetry. The final judge for our contest was Alan Summers, recipient of the Japan Times Award and the Ritsumeikan University of Kyoto Peace Museum Award for haiku.

World Monuments FundIntroduction to the World Monuments Fund Route 66 Virtual Reality Tour
October, 2010

WMF has developed a pilot Virtual Reality Tour of a portion of Route 66 in South Pasadena, CA. This four-minute long video is just one aspect of a combination of global positioning data, computer-controlled 360-degree laser scanners, and digital videography, all resulting in a three-dimensional, web-enabled, interactive, virtual-reality video tour.

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Field Dispatch: Route 66: The Road Ahead

On November 20 and 21, 2013, WMF convened a strategic roundtable titled “The Road Ahead,” with generous support from American Express. The roundtable, following on the findings of the Route 66 Economic Impact Study of 2012, explored ways to leverage new opportunities for investment and innovative partnerships in heritage tourism and historic preservation along Route 66.

Route 66 Economic Impact Study

The study focuses on the positive impacts of heritage tourism and historic preservation, drawing from a wide array of empirical information on Route 66. The result is a better understanding of the mosaic and dynamics of America’s Main Street, and the identification of opportunities to improve preservation of this resource and to enhance its already significant heritage tourism and economic contribution. The Study’s three volumes include the following:

Route 66 Travel Itinerary

The National Park Service’s Discover Our Shared Heritage Route 66 travel Itinerary brings the history of Route 66 to life. Today, more than 85% of the original Route 66 is drivable. Read essays, see photos, download maps, itineraries, and more. Developed in partnership with the American Express® and World Monuments Fund Sustainable Tourism Initiative and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers.