Ohio66 presents an in-depth look at the circumstances surrounding the departure of George Maharis from route 66 in the middle
of the third season.
preview Starring George Maharis
John Rados Contractors & Engineers
Tod & Buz arrive at the construction site for the I-271 & Mayfield Rd. interchange in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, about ten miles east of downtown Cleveland.
In the background is the Golden Gate Shopping Center - and the entrance ramp to 271-south is just out of view to the left.
I suspect that even though the Rados sign is a prop, this really was the entrance to the site headquarters at the time. See evidence below in aerial photograph (A).
The building visible in the shopping center appears to have been a drug store in 1962. Today it is an Ohio Savings Bank branch office with a modern facade.
Mayfield Rd. at I-271
Heading east on Mayfield Rd. passing under the newly built I-271 bridges.
There is a bit of discontinuity here as this scene follows the one where Tod & Buz enter the Rados construction site, yet they are actually just now approaching this entrance.
Just before driving under the bridge - (C) in the aerial photograph below - they appear to be turning onto Mayfield Rd. from Parker Drive - (B) in the aerial.
Since the time of the filming, the width of I-271 has doubled by means of adding two more bridges between the original two - approximately where the 'vette is in the screen shot. The different support structures are evident in the current photo.
1962 Aerial Photograph
Aerial photography of the Mayfield Rd. construction site was done by the U.S. Geological Survey between April 4th and May 14th, 1962, just a few months before Every Father's Daughter was filmed Sept. 18th through the 25th.
(A) Entrance to the John Rados construction site behind the Golden Gate Shopping Center.
(B) Parker Drive.
(C) I-271 bridge.
What hath Tod wrought?
Mayfield Rd. in front of the Golden Gate Shopping Center in 2010.
It's interesting to note that this episode finds Tod & Buz working on the relatively new interstate highway system that today stands in stark contrast to the back roads and local two-lane highways that we see so often in Route 66.
George Maharis has been quoted as saying that no matter where you go in the United States today, there's always Denny's - local color no longer exists.
That's certainly true of I-271 & Mayfield Rd. In addition to Denny's, you can find all the other standard fast food restaurants, national big box retailers, etc., that are so ubiquitous at locations like this all across the country.
Oh good! The boys are taking a catnap! This'll give me a chance to escape!
This home, on Lakeshore Blvd. in the Cleveland suburb of Bratenahl, is two doors east of the home used in Two On The House from season two. Both homes are located directly on Lake Erie. A Cleveland Press article from September 20, 1962 on filming at this home can be found on the Cleveland newspaper articles page.
The home is isolated from the street by a brick large wall, and to get this photo I had to stand on the pedals of my bike and hold the camera above my head. I have plans to contact the owner and try to “invite myself in” so there may be more on this subject later.
Through the driveway's gate. Ara would be walking toward this gate just behind the evergreens in the current photo.
Before we get continue...
...with the Edgewater Park photos from Every Father's Daughter, I just wanted to comment about how lovely the scenery is along the shore of Lake Erie at this time of year.
Water Skiing at Edgewater Park
Edgewater Park is a city-owned park on Lake Erie about two miles west of the Cuyahoga River and the downtown area.
Today you are more likely to see Jet Skis at Edgewater rather than the conventional type that Tod used.
There wasn't much action at the park on this day - Thursday, July 1, 2010 - but on a typical July weekend the beach will be crowded with swimmers, boaters, skiers, etc.
Buz docks the boat...
...as Ara paints in the distance.
Except for the additional trees, this section of the beach looks exactly the same today as it did in 1962. Even the stone blocks, most of which have characteristic scoring marks as visible in the foreground of the screen shot, appear to have stood the test of time.
Sahara Motor Hotel
The cast and crew of Route 66 stayed at the Sahara each time they were in town. I believe that it is mentioned in the final credits for each of the six episodes filmed in Cleveland.
Several scenes from Route 66 episodes were filmed at the Sahara, including the performance by the mentalist in Only By Cunning Glimpses, and the dance scene from Every Father's Daughter. There's also a quick shot from the street in Incident On A Bridge as Tod & Buz hear about Rovoi's fate on the radio.
The color photo is from a postcard (date unknown) and is the only image of the Sahara outside of Route 66 that I have been able to locate.
Euclid Ave at E. 32nd St.
The Sahara is no longer in existence, but it once stood at 3201 Euclid Ave. where the plaza for Applied Technologies is located today. In fact, E. 32nd St. is no longer in existence (at least at Euclid Ave.) but both of these photos were shot from the point where the intersection was in the 1960s.
The first photo is of Applied Industrial Technologies and is where the Sahara once stood.
Swinging the camera just to the left of the first shot reveals some classic mid-20th-century architecture that I find so aesthetically pleasing.
Although Euclid Ave. is the main east-west road through downtown Cleveland, it looks like a ghost town in both of these photos. Each was shot on different Sunday mornings in 2010 and traffic was very light on both days.
Vixseboxse Art Galleries
When Ara runs out of the Sahara with Buz right behind, she heads directly across the street to the Vixseboxse Art Galleries. In reality, both the Sahara and Vixseboxse were located on Euclid Ave. on the near east-side of downtown, but about nine blocks apart.
Cleveland State University - Parker-Hannifin Hall
Vixseboxse is still around in 2010, but it is now located a few miles east in, coincidentally, Mayfield Heights. Today, the former art gallery building houses the graduate admissions offices of Cleveland State University which has expanded its boundaries eastward along Euclid Ave. since 1962.
CSU - Parker Hannifin Hall / Vixseboxse Art Galleries
When I approached Parker-Hannifin Hall with the intent of shooting some interior photographs, I had my camera turned-on and ready to go as I walked inside. My assumption was that at some point or other I would be asked not to take photos and I would probably also be asked to leave - so I wanted to be sure I got at least a few quick shots before that happened.
To my great surprise, the entire first floor seemed to be completely unoccupied and I was free to wander around and take all the photos I wanted. I even had the luxury of trying different settings on the camera to assure the best quality results.
CSU - Parker Hannifin Hall
Many people have told me how exciting it is to visit Route 66 filming sites such as this that have remained virtually unchanged in nearly a half century, and Parker-Hannifin Hall gives me that same feeling. I can't begin to describe the sense of wonder I felt when I walked into this building and was immediately transported back to the early 1960s.
In the background of the screen shot is - surprise! - Cleveland's sole landmark skyscraper of the era - the Terminal Tower.
To the left is a giant crane at the C&P Ore Docks (now the Cleveland Bulk Terminal) where Tod and Buz worked in Only By Cunning Glimpses.
Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
A statue of the German composer, whose massive opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen is one of the seminal works in the history of Western music, stands in Edgewater Park looking out at the view of Lake Erie.
The plaque reads “DER STADT CLEVELAND GEWIDMET VOM GOETHE-SCHILLER-VEREIN OKT 15 1911” (“Dedicated to the city of Cleveland by the Goethe-Schiller Society - October 15, 1911”).
The statue has nothing whatsoever to do with this particular episode of Route 66 other than the fact that it stands at the spot where Buz chased Ara down to the cliff overlooking Lake Erie in the final minutes (see below) - and I like to think that Wagner was watching the action as the scene was filmed.
Although the statue has been in Cleveland since 1911, I can't say for certain that it was located at Edgewater Park the entire time.
The Wagner statue is directly behind the camera in these shots and facing the same direction (looking at downtown Cleveland).
The exact spot where Buz confronts Ara in the final scene was a bit difficult to locate because the cliffs are extremely overgrown today. It was virtually impossible to walk along the edge here so I walked along the beach instead.
I believe when I shot this photo recently I was standing just below the place where Buz and Ara are seen.