Can you tell me how to get to SPAM Blvd.?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 20, 2001

"Take a left onto Fourth Avenue NE and a right on SPAM Boulevard.

Tuesday, March 20, 2001

"Take a left onto Fourth Avenue NE and a right on SPAM Boulevard."

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Are you doing a double-take?

I suppose you’re wondering where SPAM Boulevard is on your Austin map. Well, it’s not there. In fact, it may not ever be listed on the map, but it may be a street in Austin.

Confused? It’s quite simple, actually, and the explanation does not involve Rod Serling of "The Twilight Zone."

Representatives of Hormel Foods Corp., in thinking ahead to the opening of the new $4 million, 16,500-square-foot SPAM Museum, would like printed material to come to an address that reflects the history of an Austin tradition. In a letter to Austin Postmaster Dan Heins, V. Allan Krejci, Hormel vice president of public relations, requested the museum carry an address of "1937 SPAM Blvd." The year 1937 is when SPAM was first created.

The use of the address would not require a change in the street name, because it would be used for mail correspondence only, according to the letter from Hormel to Heins.

Heins, in a letter responding to the Hormel request, said his concern is not with mail delivery but with the public finding the location if street signs and maps do not indicate the two street names.

"It is for advertising purposes," Mayor Bonnie Rietz said last week during a meeting of the council Public Works Committee.

Public Works Director Jon Erichson said if letterhead and paper work lists 1937 as the museum’s address, no action would be required by the council. However, if Hormel Foods Corp. intends to purchase signs to add under the current street signs to display the additional street name, the placing of the signs would require approval by the council.

"Last I heard, the taxpayers still own the streets in the city of Austin," Councilman Dick Lang, a committee member, said.

"I wouldn’t feel comfortable making a motion to vote on this, because of the commercialization," Lang added.

Councilman and committee chairman Pete Christopherson made a motion to send the issue to council without a recommendation.

No matter how this issue is resolved, now you will know where to send someone if you find them wandering in Austin in search of SPAM Boulevard.

Call Kevira Mertha at 434-2233 or e-mail her at