Begin Historic Route 66.

Begin Route 66 Sign

Field review by the editors.

Chicago, Illinois

Route 66 was created in 1926, and official highway signs went up the following year. That's when the trouble started. Route 66 alignment purists -- known by some critics as "foamers" for their rabid devotion to precise charting of the highway's complex history -- have griped that the Begin Route 66 sign in Chicago is in the wrong spot. Some say the Mother Road really begins a couple of blocks east, at the corner of Lake Shore Drive and Jackson Blvd. Others say it begins further west at Lou Mitchell's diner ("World's Finest Coffee"). Still others insist that a Route 66 trip must begin at the water's edge of Lake Michigan (and end likewise at the Pacific shoreline). Regardless of their feelings, all Route 66 travelers visit the "Begin" sign where the Chicago Dept. of Transportation put it, just to take a photo. It's high on a pole to prevent theft, but the sign still has to be routinely replaced because travelers keep covering it with stickers.

Also see: Another Sticker-Crazed Highway Sign

Begin Route 66 Sign

Address:
E. Adams St., Chicago, IL
Directions:
Downtown. On E. Adams St., just west of its intersection with S. Michigan Ave. The sign is mounted so that it faces traffic driving west. There are a couple of older brown signs, and a newer sign at Adams and Wabash in the park corner.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

End Route 66 SignEnd Route 66 Sign, Chicago, IL - < 1 mi.
Crown Fountain - Spraying FacesCrown Fountain - Spraying Faces, Chicago, IL - < 1 mi.
The BeanThe Bean, Chicago, IL - < 1 mi.
In the region:
The Ledge - 1,353 Feet Straight Down, Chicago, IL - < 1 mi.

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November 19, 2019

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