Rediscovering Route 66
Long forgotten within the hustle and bustle
of Los Angeles County, Route 66 has been reinvigorated throughout most of the rest of the United States. The road that was
immortalized in print by John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, in song like Bobby Troup's "Get Your Kicks (on Route
66)", and on the small screen by the TV series Route 66 has undergone a rebirth that has saved some towns along its
The same cannot be said, however, in Los Angeles County. Despite the signs that say "Historic
Route 66," many Angelenos do not even know what Route 66 is. Noted Route 66 historian Scott Piotrowski has aimed to change
that with his new book, Finding the End of the Mother Road: Route 66 in Los Angeles County. It is the first guide book
to the storied highway that concentrates solely on the portion of the old road that traverses Los Angeles County.
only way that major portions of Route 66 are going to be preserved is to get the word out that over 80% of the old highway
can still be driven by an ordinary vehicle, including the lesser known urban areas," says Piotrowski. "Without the tourists
chasing that dream today, the image will just fade away into the darkness."
66 in Los Angeles County has many interesting facets:
The most number of alignments of Route 66 on the entire national route
occurs in the Arroyo Seco corridor of Los Angeles - 5 different ones.
The long-term end point
for Route 66 was actually downtown Los Angeles at Broadway and 7th, until the road was extended to Santa Monica later in its
Many icons of the road still exist, from the Highland Theatre in downtown
Highland Park to Jensen's Recreation Center in Echo Park.
Scott Piotrowski, author
of "Finding the End of the Mother Road: Route 66 in Los Angeles County" will show slides and discuss the historic highway,
a section of which winds through Echo Park, at the EPHS general meeting on May 12.