You might say that this Route 66 road trip stop is pretty super: Sprague’s Super Service Station in Normal, Illinois.
Sprague’s Super Service Station opened in 1931. The two-story Tudor Revival building was constructed by William Sprague and housed a gas station, a garage, a café, and two second-floor apartments.
Unlike most service stations of the time, Sprague’s wasn’t affiliated with a major oil company and wasn’t built in a style dictated by a gas company’s branding. Instead it was designed to mimic and blend in with the residential private homes surrounding it.
Sprague’s originally pumped Cities Service gas, but has changed brands several times through the years until, eventually, the last fuel was dispensed in 1971 and the original pumps were removed in 1979.
Since then the location has housed a variety of different businesses including Joe’s Welding and Boiler Company, Corn Belt Manufacturing, Yellow Cab, Avis Rent-a-Car, Hodge’s Catering, and Bridal World.
After laying vacant for many years, Terri Ryburn (an instructor at Illinois State University and Route 66 historical author) bought the property in 2006 with the intent of restoring it. Eventually the town of Normal purchased the property from Ryburn (who still got to live in the upstairs apartment and run the eventual gift shop) and finalized restorations. In 2017 it reopened to the public with an information center and gift shop called Ryburn Place.
Sprague’s Super Service Station is on the National Register of Historic Places, is a Town of Normal Local Landmark, and is in the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame.
Sprague’s Super Service Station
Address: 305 Pine St, Normal, IL 61761
Hours: Always visible, business open Wednesday-Sunday, 9am-5pm
Cost: Free to see