Future of Tropics Neon Sign Uncertain

By Route 66 Association of Illinois Treasurer, Marty Blitstein

It has come to the attention of myself and our Association as a whole that the iconic Tropics neon sign, which was supposed to be restored by the city of Lincoln, IL has been discovered to have been poorly placed in a yard waste disposal site in Lincoln, instead of being carefully stored out of the elements while awaiting restoration.


At a meeting of the Lincoln city council committee on Monday, March 23, I implored the committee to do right by this piece of Route 66 memorabilia. Here's an excerpt of my comments:

“I didn’t know until today that anyone knew where the Tropics sign was. The Herald newspaper put in an article that the Tropics sign is in the landfill, in the dump. Uncovered, laying on its side, rotting away. It’s in a Route 66 community. This is our ‘Oscar.’ You can’t do this. I’m prepared to make an offer tonight that the City, which owns the sign and the land that it’s in—I can’t go in there and take the sign—I make you a proposal that the City give the sign to the Route 66 Association of Illinois. I’m the treasurer. We’ll pick it up in a professional manner, bring it to Pontiac and restore it as best we can at no cost to the City at all."

Please click here to read a complete account of the situation on Route 66 News.

I hope that by bringing this situation to the attention of those in the Route 66 community that - one way or another - this icon that once proudly lit up along the Mother Road can be properly preserved for the future. After all, that is our purpose and mission as passionate caretakers of Route 66.

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