Tully Garrett's Final Comments On The Launching Pad

WILMINGTON, IL — Last week, Joliet Patch was on hand to witness the removal of the Gemini Giant from his perch near the Launching Pad restaurant in Wilmington as the Joliet Area Historical Museum moved the world-famous Route 66 landmark to a temporary, secure location. By summer, the Gemini Giant will be unveiled at his new home in Wilmington, the entrance to South Island Park along the Kankakee River.

Months ago, the museum offered to purchase the Gemini Giant and the shuttered Launching Pad restaurant property from Holly Barker for a grand total of $620,000. But Barker did not accept the deal, instead, she chose to auction off just the Gemini Giant, which the Joliet Area Historical Museum purchased for $275,000.

After the March 20 hoopla was over, and the Gemini Giant was hauled away from the Launching Pad, Barker got in the face of several people, including a videographer as well as Greg Peerbolte, the Joliet Area Historical Museum chief executive officer, ordering them to get off of her Launching Pad property immediately.

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Back in October 2017, Barker and Tully Garrett bought the property in Wilmington and proceeded to devote thousands of hours into rehabilitating The Launching Pad over the next couple of years.

In 2019, Joliet Patch produced a glowing article about the Wilmington couple, and the article headline declared, “Once In Ruins, Route 66’s Launching Pad Now Open Daily.”

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“It looked like a Jurassic Park scene. It was shuttered. It was bad. The place was closed and totally in disrepair,” Barker told Joliet Patch during the May 2019 interview. “It took us about 16 months to get it back to the right look and feel. It’s back to life, and it’s in our family, and it’s going to stay here.”

Fast-forward to March 20.

Tully Garrett announced on Facebook that this would be the final post for The Launching Pad. Here’s a sampling of comments Garrett shared with everyone:

Related Joliet Patch coverage:

Destruction Of Launching Pad Underway, Police Cite Owner: 12 Photos

Gemini Giant Leaves Launching Pad, New Wilmington Spot Revealed

“I always wanted the restaurant to remain open, as well as the Giant remaining exactly where he is for future generations to come,” Tully Garrett wrote on Facebook on March 20. John Ferak/Patch

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