Created in 1989 by Dustin Shuler, the Spindle has graced Cermak Plaza in Berwyn, IL for almost as long as I’ve been alive. The sculpture towers above the parked cars in the lot, showcasing vehicles from the late 60s to early 80s impaled on a 50-foot spike. To me, it’s best known as being my first real glimpse of roadside oddities, to others it is probably best known for its cameo in the Wayne’s World film.
Unfortunately, the years (and birds) haven’t been kind to the sculpture, which has been plagues with rust (and feces) for years. Now, the Spindle has a problem that no mechanic can fix: Walgreens.
Yes, my silly American friends, Berwyn now plans to tear down the iconic kabob to put up a brand new Walgreens. Plans have been in place for a while now, and despite efforts of multiple organizations to save it (it’s been estimated that it will take $300,000 to move it), it looks like the Spindles fate is futile.
Alas, in what seems like a last-ditch effort, the Spindle is up on eBay. While I’d hate to see it go from my backyard of Berwyn, it would be nice to think that the cars have found a proper home amongst the roadside attractions of America. So…if you have an extra $150,000 to spare… , bid on!
Site: The Spindle
Location: Cermak Plaza, Cermak and Harlem, Berwyn, IL
Admission: Free to see…$150,000+ to purchase
Date: August 12, 2007
It is a sad day in Silly America. On Friday night, with no warning, the Berwyn Spindle, the car kabob, cars on a spike, was torn down.
All that is left right now of this roadside attraction is a stump and soon that will be cleared away too to make room for a Walgreens.
From what I’ve seen and heard the top two cars may have been saved before the rest was ruthlessly chopped down. We’ll see if anything ever comes of those.
For now, Silly Americans, we’ll bid adieu to our tower of cars. It will be sadly missed.
May 2, 2008 was a tragic day in the heart of Silly America. On that day a crane entered Cermak Plaza in Berwyn, Illinois and my beloved Spindle was torn down. And just like that, another glorious roadside attraction was stripped from the American landscape.
It is now a year later and I still miss the car kabob. It was a site I fondly remember passing as a child and one that certainly influenced my travel bug later in life. While I am racking up miles and moments every time I hit the road I don’t think I will ever see another site that will replace that stick of cars in my heart. Today let’s take a moment to remember The Spindle and all of the other icons that have fallen through the years.