Missouri - US 66 - Springfield

Springfield (former US 66)

The awkward moment when you spell Congratulations right but Burns wrong. Maybe.

Despite the ornamentation, this is not a mosque. It does, however, date to the Gilded Age, and it's related to Islamic themes. If that's not enough of a hint, it's the Abou Ben Adhem Shrine, and built (and still occupied) by the Shriners. The name comes from a poem written by an Englishman, so the only authentic part of this building is the calligraphy at the "minarets" - the "shahada" or Islamic testimony in the oneness of Allah. Adorned with extra snakes, of course, because these are Americans playing at foreign themes.

I don't know if they had free Internet in the 1960s with the rest of the sign, but with rooms under $30, there's a chance it's legitimately vintage. I threw in the bonus Kearney St. Plaza sign - Kearney Street being old US 66 (now MO Route 744) on the northeast side of the city.

Continue west on old US 66 to Galena, KS
Continue east on old US 66 to Pacific

Road photos from old US 66 in Springfield

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