AUSTIN, Texas —
Route 66 in Wheeler County was recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) assisted in the nomination of this district in recognition of its importance to the history of the State of Texas. Noted for its historical significance, the historic road joins other properties around the state with National Register status.
Route 66 was one of the nation’s most significant highways during the early to mid-twentieth century, serving as the primary corridor between Chicago and southern California. The listed property features eight concrete segments of the original highway across Wheeler County. The road was fully paved by 1932, and served as Route 66 until 1970, when Interstate 40 was completed to the north. In 1968, the highway was transferred to the State of Texas to serve as a frontage road. Still in use today, the designated road segments convey a strong sense of their historic time and place and are the best-preserved concrete sections of Route 66 in Texas. Listing in the National Register will increase opportunities for heritage tourism and heightened protection and preservation considerations during any future, federally funded construction projects. The nomination process was initiated and prepared by Texas Historical Commission staff through a cost-share grant from the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources deemed worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a federal program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect the country’s historic and archeological resources. The National Register includes more than 3,300 listings in Texas. Listing affords properties a measure of protection from the possible impact of federally funded projects, as well as access to technical expertise and grant funds to facilitate their restoration and preservation. Income-producing properties are also eligible for federal tax benefits for sympathetic rehabilitation work.
To learn more about the National Register of Historic Places, contact the THC’s History Programs Division at 512-463-5853 or visit thc.texas.gov.