Grand opening set Saturday for restored historic gas station in Normal

Grand opening set Saturday for restored historic gas station in Normal

NORMAL — The grand opening of Ryburn Place, a gift shop and information center at the historic Sprague's Super Service station in Normal, will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, with the band Wagon Load A Trouble performing.

Terri Ryburn, who was restoring the unique gas station for over a decade before the city finished the job, sold the building to the city of Normal a year or so ago. Ryburn will operate the center, selling Route 66 T-shirts, postcards, books and memorabilia as well as the work of area artists.

The station at 305 E. Pine St., which originally opened in 1931, housed a cafe, a Cities Service gas station/garage, and upstairs apartments for the owner and station attendant. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

"One of the great things about the Mother Road is that attractions on the road are able to re-invent themselves while still preserving their Route 66 essence. Ryburn Place at Sprague's Super Service is a wonderful example of this phenomena," said William Kelly, executive director of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.

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