Walldog Murals

Atlanta, Illinois

IllinoisRoadside Attraction

In 2003 the Walldogs, an international organization of sign and mural artists, descended upon Atlanta, Illinois for a “Letter Rip on 66” gathering. Many of the Walldog murals are still in place today.

Each year the Walldogs organization organized a festival where hundreds of artists visited a chosen small town to paint murals for three to five days. As part of this around 100 Letterheads came to Atlanta leaving behind the large outdoor murals on the sides of buildings around town.

Here are the murals to watch out for:

  • J.M. Judy & Sons (Arch St and Race St)
  • Route 66 Official Mechanic (Arch St and Race St)
  • Midway on Illinois’ Mother Road (Inside Atlanta Route 66 Park)
  • Palms Grill Café (Next to the Bunyon Giant)
  • Wisteria Café (Arch St and Vine St)
  • Reisch Brewing Company (Arch St and Vine St)
  • Firehouse (Vine St and Church St)

Last modified: June 9, 2024
Attraction Type: ,

Midway on Illinois's Mother Road Mural at Atlanta Route 66 Park in Atlanta, Illinois

Walldog Murals

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114 SW Arch St, Atlanta, IL 61723

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Photos of the Walldog Murals in Atlanta, Illinois

J.M. Judy & Sons Mural in Atlanta, Illinois
J.M. Judy & Sons Built in 1867, the prairie brick building nicknamed “Union Hall” holds the title as one of the oldest buildings in Atlanta. Throughout the decades, many businesses opened and closed, including J.M. Judy & Sons, a grocery store, in the 1890s. Bill Diaz of Pontiac, IL drew inspiration from a photo from the early 1900s with the original mural which also graced this side of the building. The mural was completed in June 2002 during “Route 66 Firecracker Walldog Jam.”
Midway on Illinois's Mother Road Mural at Atlanta Route 66 Park in Atlanta, Illinois
Midway on Illinois’s Mother Road
Inspiration for this mural comes from Atlanta’s geographic location on Route 66, approximately 150 miles from both Chicago and St. Louis. Bill Diaz of Pontiac, IL designed the original mural in 2003 during “LetterRip on Route 66.” The current mural, inspired by the original, was designed by Illinois State University Design Streak Studio students in 2022 during a collaboration with the City of Atlanta.
Palms Grill Café Mural in Atlanta, Illinois
Palms Grill Café In its early days, weekly dances and bingo nights accompanied the blue-plate specials served at the Palms Grill Café. The “Grill” was also Atlanta’s Greyhound bus-stop. You just turned the light on above the door if you wanted the bus to pick you up. Located directly across Rt. 66 from this mural, the Palms Grill Café served Atlanta’s citizens, as well as a steady stream of Rt. 66 travelers, from 1936 until the late 1960s. In his design of the “Palms Grill Café” mural, Steve Estes of Possum Trot, Kentucky, captured the intent of the “Grill’s” first owner, Robert Adams, an Atlanta native, who named it after a restaurant he frequented during trips to California. The mural was completed in June 2003 during the “LetterRip on Rt. 66” gathering of approximately 100 Letterheads in Atlanta.
Reisch Brewing
Company Mural
Reisch Brewing Company “Reisch Beer will Give You Health and Strength” – or so claimed the original “Reisch Beer” mural still faintly visible on the second story, opposite side, of this building. Franz Reisch erected the building in 1894 as an outlet for the product of his Reisch Brewing Co. located in Springfield, IL. The peacock logo on the original mural is nearly illegible. If not for the discovery of a 1919 postcard on which it was clearly printed, it could not have been recreated by Dave “Herbie” Estes of Gilbertsville, Kentucky who used the original mural as an inspiration for his design and execution of this current “Reisch Beer” mural. The mural was completed in June 2003 during the “LetterRip on Rt. 66” gathering of approximately 100 Letterheads in Atlanta.

Know Before You Go

To make the most of your visit to the ​​Walldog Murals in Atlanta, Illinois here are some things to know before you go.

  • Parking is available on the street or in a nearby community lot.
  • All Atlanta Murals are within easy walking distance of each other.

Where to Stay Near the ​​Atlanta Walldog Murals

Complete your travel itinerary and get a good night’s rest with a stay at one of these nearby hotels on Illinois Route 66.

The Trail Inn

The Trail Inn is a local motel that features clean rooms, contactless check-in, and even muffler man art in the lobby. The most convenient motel to downtown Atlanta, the location allows you to stay a while in town to take in all the best attractions in the area. Plus, with a gas station right across the street, it’s easy to fuel up your car or stock up on snacks.

Vrooman Mansion Bed and Breakfast

Vrooman Mansion Bed and Breakfast is located off Route 66 in the heart of Bloomington/Normal, Illinois. The Vrooman Mansion is a historical 1869 estate, with seven suites to choose from, all with private baths and access to beautiful common areas like the library, parlor, sitting rooms, and manicured grounds.

State House Inn

State House Inn, a landmark hotel in Springfield, Illinois, features a business center, gym, ironing service, and complimentary breakfast with a convenient location directly across the street from the Illinois State Capitol. Book a stay in one of the two themed Presidential Suites: the Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd.

Attractions Near the ​​Atlanta Walldog Murals on Route 66

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