IE group hopes to turn Historic Route 66 station into museum

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The Route 66 Inland Empire California Association and Rancho Cucamonga residents hope to turn a historic Route 66 gas station into a museum. (KABC)

An old white building sits behind a chain link fence in Rancho Cucamonga that used to be a popular spot along the historic Route 66.

The Cucamonga station, built in 1915, closed down in the 70s, fell into disrepair and was eventually condemned by the city.

But now, residents and the Route 66 Inland Empire California Association are pushing to save the building. City officials named it a historic landmark in 2009 and handed it over to the association four years later.

"[It] became a meeting point for the community, so this was the hub of Rancho Cucamonga, or at that time Cucamonga," said Anthony Gonzales, a member of the association.

Volunteers replaced the windows and finished countless restorations to the building. Their goal is to honor the past by turning the station into a museum.

The project is getting a lot of support from locals such as Lynwood Ganzen who collects photos of the historic building.

The association has raised nearly $75,000 in donations. But still, they hope to raise another half million to rebuild the garage. Gonzales said the hard work is worth it to keep the past alive.

"Hope that everybody has an opportunity to come down and see what the history of Rancho Cucamonga today was and is," Gonzales said.

The group hopes to open the gas station visitor center by July of this year, which is the 100 year anniversary of when the building first opened.

Related Topics:
societyhistorymuseumspreservationRancho Cucamonga
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