The famous Route 66 is not only a U.S. Highway but an icon of national history that continues to connect the old with the new. Beginning in Chicago, Illinois in 1926, Route 66 was built to connect mid-west America with the sunny beaches of the west coast.
The route guides travelers through some of the most remote regions of the U.S., including parts of Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally landing at a pier facing the ocean in Santa Monica, California.
Some consider this type of road trip to be a spiritual journey, while others make the trip along Route 66 as tourists, ready to experience all the old and new attractions that have emerged along the way.
Either way, along this stretch of 2,400 miles, there are some truly stop-worthy sculpture attractions that are a must-see!
Cadillac Ranch – Amarillo, Texas
Although this ranch is privately owned, it has attracted numerous tourists for its display of old, rustic Cadillacs painted and partially buried into the ground — tail lights facing the sky. This public art display is a strange outlier to the surrounding flat desert of the Texas panhandle. However, many adventurers are enticed to visit Cadilac Ranch as it has become a symbol of the roadside attractions of Route 66.
Wigwam Motel – Holbrook, Arizona
A legendary stop featuring the best of public and functional art is what’s on display at the Wigwam Motel in Arizona. It is not only a must-see, but a must-stay, where travelers can rest inside a piece of art shaped and designed as a large, Native American wigwam. Feel transported into another time by this distinct architectural teepee design with the backdrop of natural scenery. The Route 66 journey is not complete without making this stop.
The Second World’s Largest Rocking Chair – Cuba, Missouri
Also known as the ‘Route 66 Red Rocker’, the average person standing next to this public art sculpture is barely tall enough to see past the curved parallel ends at the bottom. At one point it was documented in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest rocking chair in the world, but in 2015, it was dethroned by a new record located in Casey, Illinois.
Bottle Tree Ranch – Helendale, California
While it is not open to the public, this art display is visible from the road. Hundreds of glass bottles are used as branches on steel tree-like structures that have been collected along Route 66 and are now artfully repurposed.
Route 66 Rising – Tulsa, Oklahoma
Along this iconic stretch of highway, you’ll see “Route 66 Rising” in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To honor the founder of Route 66, Cyrus Avery, Eric Garcia designed a stop-worthy sculpture inside a Tulsa roundabout, marking the intersection of route 66 with alternative paths. Its unique design shows the Route 66 sign rising up from the earth; communicating the hope it offered Oklahoma during the era of the dust bowl tragedy.
Overall, making the journey along Route 66 is sure to be filled with all types of interesting food stops, hotels, and artwork attractions. It is a unique trip that showcases timeless historical treasures along with commemorative storytelling.
EG Structural Supports Better Diversity in the Arts
At EG Structural we have a passion for creating projects that inspire. We create timeless public art projects that embody the spirit of our clients and their community. Whether they’re a corporate entity or a municipality, we see what makes them special and design sculpture pieces that highlight their exceptionality.
If your organization is looking for a private commission sculpture piece or if you have questions about being more involved in public art, contact EG Structural today!