The Diamonds Restaurant

Villa Ridge
Franklin County

This Art Moderne restaurant building was constructed along historic Route 66 in 1950, replacing an earlier (1928) Diamonds Restaurant which had burned in 1949. In rebuilding the Diamonds, the owner created a state-of-the art restaurant in the streamlined north wing and added another purpose to the site, constructing in the adjoining north wing a truck stop with sleeping rooms and showers. The Diamonds’ advertising postcard from 1960 called it the “Worlds Largest Roadside Restaurant Serving over a million people a year…” When Interstate 44 was constructed during the 1960s, the Diamonds was moved to a new building along the new roadway, about two miles northeast of the original site. The vacated building continued to operate as a restaurant, but under new name and ownership before finally closing several years ago. Although suffering from lack of maintenance, the original 1950 building still stands as a Route 66 roadside icon. It is currently for sale and its owner has committed to list the structure on National Register of Historic Places, making it eligible for the state’s Historic Preservation Tax Credits. It is hoped that listing will attract a new owner interested in renovation of this extraordinary property.

Listed in 2012 and as a watched property in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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