Mother Road Make-over: Route 66 Plaza Streetscape planned

Inside Mother Road Antiques and Uniques you'll find just that, antiques and quite a few uniques. Owner Mark Cockrum's love for the route runs forever. He even quit a regular job to start the shop on the mother road. " Leave it better than you found it," Mark says. " That's what I'm doing through here and I want to be apart of the revitalization."

If only walls could talk, the 108 year old building would have stories to tell. Mark says when he first bought the building, College street was run down. " It was real dilapidated but it's starting to improve. With the park and the next age, it's all going to make a difference," Mark says.

The latest improvement, the City of Springfield and the West Central Neighborhood Alliance are sprucing up parts of route 66 with a plaza-type street-scape. Plans include a clock tower, some crosswalks, decorative street lighting...an all round make-over at College and Broadway. " It's going to be an improvement visually for our tourists," Mark says. " They are going to see that the city is doing something. We have that title the birthplace of route 66. To me, that's huge. Lets take advantage of it."

While Mark keeps track of the progress, he's also tracking where his customers are coming from via route 66. They're hailing from all over the world. A local artist helped put Mark's idea of a cartoon version of the mother road map to life. The map is now even showing up on license plates, postcards and magnets, especially popular with tourists wanting to remember their kicks on Route 66.