Toolkit FAQs

Who is this Toolkit for ?

This toolkit is for anyone who loves Route 66. But specifically, it is directed toward people who own historic property along Route 66, or who are interested in preserving the historic road and its stories.

Planning for the Mother Road’s 100th anniversary, the Road 66 Road Ahead Partnership saw an opportunity to create a toolkit to help property owners and Route 66 enthusiasts continue — if not intensify — the preservation of the legendary road. They wanted the Toolkit to be simple to read and illustrated with stories of small communities and everyday people.

The Toolkit touches upon five topics:

Registration, Restoration, Partnerships, Threats, and Diversity.

These are presented in five modules: 

Historical Designation,




and Telling the Full Story.

Each module offers an array of resources.

Modules begin with an "Overview" of the topic.

The "Ask & Answer" section addresses frequently asked questions or common misconceptions.

Several modules include a "Worksheet". Through a series of questions, the reader can quickly assess if they are ready to move forward.

"Take Action" encourages readers to do specific actions toward their goals.

"Case Studies" presents real world examples illustrating the module topic.

"Tips for Success" directs readers to further resources to assist them.

Funded through the National Trust Preservation Fund Grant Program, the project sought input from established Route 66 stakeholders and people along the route. 

A small team, consisting mainly of Road Ahead members and Route 66 allies, came up with the toolkit topics and case studies. Most case studies were informed by interviews with project proponents or subject matter experts.

The toolkit’s structure is greatly influenced by the “Neighborhood Preservation Toolkit” (2018), prepared by PennPraxis for the City of Philadelphia. This wonderfully simple document presents preservation topics in an easy manner, free of bureaucratic and technical jargon.

Toolkit Modules

Red round barn

"Getting listed on the National Register of Historic Places protects and formally recognizes a property’s historical significance."

Historical Designation

Module 1

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Tower cinema neon

"Restoration means to accurately depict the character of a place as it was at a particular time, removing added elements from other periods, and reconstruting what has gone missing."


Module 2

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Pontiac Il. route 66 mural

“In the journey to protect, preserve, and tell the larger story of Route 66, partnering can be essential. The power of partnership can bring financial assistance, expertise, opportunity, sharing, and scope. ”


Module 3

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Motel destruction rubble

"Hearing through the grapevine that your favorite Route 66 building is threatened by demolition can be genuinely traumatic! Your pulse races, you begin to panic. What do you do next?"

Threats to Heritage

Module 4

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Old Route 66 gas station before restoration

“There is more to Route 66 than nostalgia. Many — if not most — who traveled the road were everyday people, driving buses and trucks, thumbing a ride, and using it to go to work and the grocery store.”

Telling the Full Story

Module 5

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The Blue Swallow Motel restored

“In his section we thank the many people and organizations who both inspired us and who directly assisted us in the creation of this resource.”


and Credits

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