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US 66 terminus history in Santa Monica

Started by Max Rockatansky, October 20, 2022, 11:32:05 AM

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Max Rockatansky

US Route 66 was formally approved by the American Association of State Highway officials to be extended from Los Angeles to Santa Monica during June 1935.  At the time US Route 66 had an interim terminus at US Route 101 Alternate located at the end of Santa Monica Boulevard at Ocean Avenue.  During 1936 the more recognizable terminus of US Route 66 in Santa Monica at Lincoln Boulevard and Olympic Boulevard was established upon the opening of the McClure Tunnel.

Prior to being officially extended during 1935 the city of Santa Monica did about everything it possibly could to get US Route 66 extend into their boundaries.  These attempts went as far as paying the Auto Club of Southern California to sign US Route 66 through Los Angeles all the way to Ocean Avenue via Santa Monica Boulevard from December 1930-January 1931.  The rogue signage of US Roure 66 into Santa Monica is one of the most bizarre stories in the history US Route system and an example of how a city not taking "no" for an answer actually paid off. 

Featured as the blog cover is an article headline from the January 27th, 1931, Santa Monica Outlook which announced US Route 66 had been signed through Santa Monica.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2022/10/the-bizarre-history-of-western-terminus.html?m=1


NWI_Irish96

We took a family trip to the southwest in 2019. We took a detour on the way to MDW to hit the eastern terminus of US 66. Our VRBO was right near the intersection of Olympic & Lincoln so we hit that location without even having to try. After getting settled we went down to Santa Monica Pier via Santa Monica Blvd & Ocean so we made sure to be able to definitively say we were at both ends of US 66 on the same day.
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Max Rockatansky

I still need to get down to the Los Angeles area to get photos of all these places 66 had signage end at.  There has been so many that have popped up since all these notes began to come out of the AASHTO database.  This is what I have so far:

-  The western extent of the Colorado Street Bridge at the Los Angeles city limit.
-  Fletcher Drive at San Fernando Road.
-  Broadway at Sunset Boulevard.
-  Santa Monica Boulevard at Ocean Avenue.

Quillz

Right at the modern I-10/CA-1/CA-2 junction, there is Mel's diner which proudly proclaims it's at the "end of Route 66." They have a US-66 shield but done up in interstate colors on the window.

cahwyguy

#4
Quote from: Quillz on October 21, 2022, 05:18:14 AM
Right at the modern I-10/CA-1/CA-2 junction, there is Mel's diner which proudly proclaims it's at the "end of Route 66." They have a US-66 shield but done up in interstate colors on the window.

Of course, it wasn't originally a Mel's. That was the Penguin Coffee Shop (see https://martinturnbull.com/2021/12/20/the-penguin-coffee-shop-1670-lincoln-blvd-santa-monica-california-circa-1959-2/ ), and it wasn't the end of 66. Perhaps the end of Route 2, but (at least in Santa Monica) I don't think 66 ended at Lincoln but continued to the palisades (little "p", not Pacific Palisades) -- i.e., the pier area.

ETA: Whoops. Got it wrong. The end of Route 2 was indeed the end of US 66, after US 66 was rerouted to end at US 101A. The ending at Ocean was only for a short while before the designation of US 101A.
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kphoger

I thought of this thread the other day.  My Sunday morning Bible study teacher lived in the LA area as a child.  He specifically remembers the Okies who had come out of the Dust Bowl, because they were the only other kids in the neighborhood who knew anything about farming.  (My teacher comes from a farming family.)  Anyway, we were talking about Route 66 before class on Sunday, and he claimed that it "ended at a pier".  I suppose he had Santa Monica pier in mind when he said that.  I don't think he's lived in the area since graduating from Berkeley;  considering he's over ninety, you can imagine when that was.
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Male pronouns, please.

Quote from: Philip K. DickIf you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.

Max Rockatansky

Sadly, a lot of normals still believe US 66 ended on Santa Monica Pier.  So much about US 66 fandom is more about mythos than actual history.  I find that to be a shame since the history in this state actually tends to be more interesting and stranger than the mythos.

kphoger

Still, though, this is a guy who actually lived there in the 40s.  So it hardly strikes me as just a modern myth.
Keep right except to pass.  Yes.  You.
Visit scenic Orleans County, NY!
Male pronouns, please.

Quote from: Philip K. DickIf you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.

Max Rockatansky

That's the thing, I've never found any evidence regarding the city of Santa Monica pushing the narrative 66 was on the pier until modern times.  The only mention at all of it hitting the ocean in all the documents I've read is when it the ACSC extended without AASHO authorization in 1930. 

roadman65

Quote from: kphoger on March 15, 2024, 02:34:35 PM
I thought of this thread the other day.  My Sunday morning Bible study teacher lived in the LA area as a child.  He specifically remembers the Okies who had come out of the Dust Bowl, because they were the only other kids in the neighborhood who knew anything about farming.  (My teacher comes from a farming family.)  Anyway, we were talking about Route 66 before class on Sunday, and he claimed that it "ended at a pier".  I suppose he had Santa Monica pier in mind when he said that.  I don't think he's lived in the area since graduating from Berkeley;  considering he's over ninety, you can imagine when that was.

Don't forget its eastern terminus was at Navy Pier in Chicago.  It could mean that one as well.
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Max Rockatansky


kphoger

And no, his words were "from Chicago at one end to a pier ...".
Keep right except to pass.  Yes.  You.
Visit scenic Orleans County, NY!
Male pronouns, please.

Quote from: Philip K. DickIf you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.



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