Los Angeles Neon Sign Updates/Alterations/Losses

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Lynxwiler
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Los Angeles Neon Sign Updates/Alterations/Losses

Postby Lynxwiler » Thu Nov 06, 2003 12:23 pm

I'm writing to announce a few losses and alterations to the signage in the Los Angeles area.

Most notable is the alteration of the Wiltern Theater's historic neon marquee. They now have a donor/sponsor much like Staples Office Supplies at Staples Center. The new name of the Wiltern Theater is the Wiltern LG, a la LG Electronics. The new LG addition has been plastered all over the theater and its marquee with the addition of a giant backlit plastic "LG" in the front and center of the building. To make it worse, little "LG"s are now littered over the rest of the facade. Frankly it's hideous.

The other sign alteration occured to the revered Oasis Motel on Olympic at Alvarado. It retains its flickerbulb and blue neon saguaro cactus, but the OASIS MOTEL text has been converted from neon tubing to an awful backlit plastic lettering.

Lost is the Giant Penny store signage from 2nd Street and Broadway in downtown. The signs consisted of an enormous backlit plastic penny and neon text combo. Seems it was removed for the first phases of the loft conversion of the Pan-American Building.

Does anyone else have any endangered Los Angeles sign observations?

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Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:05 pm

The Broadway Bar has nice, new neon.
http://www.thebroadwaybar.net

As does Golden Gopher:
http://cache.gridskipper.com/travel/Golden%20Gopher.jpg

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Postby Nathan » Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:30 pm

Colorado and Maywood, Eagle Rock -- flower shop with a giant deco "FLOWERS" blade sign...windows all painted up with "going out of business" and so forth...what will become of this baby?

Up the street is Chic's Liquor, neon and bulb, storefront boarded up, soon to become a Vietnamese restaurant I believe.

Would love to see these go to MONA but doubt they will, as I don't think they're in the position to be acquisitive while they wonder where the heck they're going when the lease is up at the end of the year...

The Broadway Bar is indeed new signage, and pretty nifty.

The Golden Gopher isn't new, but has been revamped, as has the whole facade --
Image
Image

...quite a change. Was sorry to see it lose elements like this:
Image

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Postby nichols » Wed Nov 22, 2006 9:44 am

The designer of the redone Gopher, Ricki Kline, told me that when they removed the '50s flagstone they discovered the original (to that period at least) greenish yellow ceramic tile facade. The stonemasons drilled many holes in it and he felt it was not restorable. He did retain the outer rings of ribbed red tiles, though.

Here's a story about the partners
http://www.downtownnews.com/articles/20 ... news01.txt

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Postby Synthetrix » Wed Nov 22, 2006 6:17 pm

Nathan wrote:...quite a change. Was sorry to see it lose elements like this:


I am not sorry to see the nasty wrought iron go though
Synthetrix Photos of the Forgotten
http://photosoftheforgotten.synthetrix.com/

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Postby Lynxwiler » Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:28 pm

Rose Motel
1345 Pacific Coast Highway
Harbor City, 90710
(310) 326-7611

The neon and flickerbulb sign was replaed with a packlit plastic sign. Quite a loss...

Image

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Postby nredom » Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:20 pm

rose motel--are you kidding? is NOTHING sacred?

man, that could really piss a guy off...

tell me you got some pieces of it anyway, or it went to some museum somewhere...

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Postby Lynxwiler » Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:55 pm

I only noticed the sign was gone on Thanksgiving; there was no warning that it was to come down. I wish I knew where it was and can only hope it found a good home, but as is the case with mom and pop signs, I fear the worst.

—————————Update——————————

After some hesitation and with a fear for the worst, I called the Rose Motel and spoke with the manager who informed me that the new backlit plastic sign has only been up for about five weeks. The fate of the original, well-maintained and functioning neon sign? It was "thrown away" according to the manager.

I hate to believe that even folks who maintain their neon signage have no clue to their value, and yet the Rose Motel has been trashed.

The "before" photo is above; the "after" photo:
Image
Last edited by Lynxwiler on Sat Dec 02, 2006 5:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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The Wiltern

Postby KevinEP » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:15 pm

Eric,

I drove by tonight & was dreading the LGs you spoke of, but didn't see any.

Could they have been a temporary promo?

Kevin

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Postby Lynxwiler » Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:25 am

Funny you should mention the "LG"s on the marquee of the Wiltern—they were just removed last month. Since they were installed on the marquee of the theater in 2003, I'd been hoping the backlit plastic display was merely temporary and it was, just three years long.

Of course there's the chance that the owners of the Wiltern will again place the name of the theater up for grabs to the next highest bidder. I simply hope they consider the value of the historic facade and its neon marquee before slapping on a new garish advert to their landmark building. They could at least execute the new advert to suit the building—I'd have loathed the "LG" logo much less had the logo matched the technology on the marquee and been executed in neon.

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Postby nichols » Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:45 pm

Eagle Rock Flowers

Image
Image

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Postby Lynxwiler » Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:07 pm

Regarding the Eagle Rick Flowers sign. Here are a few questions from the Museum of Neon Art:

Is it enamel?
Size?
Does the Eagle Rock Historical Society know it's threatened?
Does Eric Warren know about it?

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Postby Nathan » Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:59 pm

I am just back from a week away and am now checking up on Lotta Livin', and this is the first post I've looked at.

Regarding the Rose Motel:

I have given the matter careful and cogent thought, and after due deliberation, I can do no more than raise my fists at the heavens and yell

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

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Postby Kimba » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:46 pm

The owners of the Rose Motel must be BLIND! The new sign is UGLY! I can't believe this!!! :evil:
"This world has nothing for me, and this world has everything. All that I could want, and nothing that I need."

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Postby nredom » Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:25 pm

Regarding Rose Motel:
Can the owners should be charged with something, like crimes against humanity?

Regarding Eagle Rock Flowers:
The sign should stay where it is, and be re-lit. Any new business owner in the space can be educated on the marketing value of that. (Once the mental block of "But we aren't a flower shop..." is gently dislodged from their head with a crobar...) That's Route 66, isn't it? Maybe the Route 66 people can get involved and help out. If that sign is removed, that road takes one more step toward looking like every other bland forgettable suburban road in America.

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Postby nichols » Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:22 pm

Here's Chic's Liquor in Eagle Rock. About to be replaced by a new restaurant.
Image
(Eagle Rock Historical Society is pretty much offline till next year)

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Postby nichols » Thu May 24, 2007 9:41 am

Chic's Liquor is back and looking very different.
Image
But back!

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Postby nichols » Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:47 pm

Saw this on Eating LA:
...Also, a Japanese restaurant is moving into the flower shop on the corner of Shearin and Colorado...
Isn't our neon flower shop at Maywood and Colorado?
Image
http://eatingla.blogspot.com/2007/07/tw ... -more.html

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Postby Lynxwiler » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:53 am

The Kaiser Bros. neon figural sign has been removed. I believe it dated to the late 1920s / early 1930s.

Image
Image

KAISER BROTHERS HONDA
1540 S FIGUEROA ST
LOS ANGELES CA 90015
213 749 2331

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Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:26 pm

A Shame, but I am still jazzed about the Broadway Bar's neon sign to be overly upset.

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Postby MODCEPHALIC » Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:38 pm

That is old! It should go to the National Sign Museum in Cincinnati. Where is it now?

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Postby Lynxwiler » Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:44 pm

But the Broadway Bar's neon sign is new.

As for the Kaiser Bros. circa 1920-30s neon sign, I'm afraid it went to the recycler in the sky. I haven't called the dealership to find out as I fear the news is bad. I'd have liked to see it go to the Museum of Neon Art but they wouldn't have the room. You're right that the American Sign Museum should have gotten it.

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Geo Spain -- Sunset Blvd

Postby Nathan » Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:23 pm

Not gone yet.

But with that "for rent" sign in the window, how much longer do we think this has?

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

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Postby nichols » Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:44 pm

Silver Lake to Irvine?!

George E Spain & Son. 949-833-3446, 2172 Dupont Dr, Irvine, CA

LOS ANGELES TIMES
April 6, 1975
L.A. Realtor claims longevity record

...(Spain) started on Feb. 15, 1915, as a tract salesman for Emil Firth, subdivider of the hillside Crestmont tract - between Micheltorena St. and Lucretia Ave. and from Sunset Blvd. north to Effie St. The tract "office" was a 10x10 foot frame structure at the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Golden Gate Ave. His son, Warren E. Spain, has been in the office for 39 eyars and his grandon, Warren E. Spain, Jr. has been there 9 years... "Dorothy Gish and family lived on Golden Gate Ave., just across the street from my real estate office. I rented a home to Tom Mix and later sold Mr. Mix the Pangborn property in the Crestmont tract. I sold an apartment building for Bobby Vernon. George T. Cole was one of my earliest clients and I rented to Anthony Quinn. The Edendale area was the motion picture center in those early days."...The senior Spain is an easygoing North Carolina native. His two offices have been in the 35oo block of Sunset since 1915, at the present site since 1945...


LOS ANGELES TIMES
August 5, 1979
George E. Spain, Pioneer Realtor, Dead at age 90

A pioneer in Los Angeles realty circles, George E. Spain, 90, dies July 24 after doing business for 64 years in the Silver Lake area from offices at 3517 Sunset Blvd...In addition to his son and grandon, he leaves his wife, Edna, of 68 years...Spain had dated Edna May in a horse and buggy in the Hollywood area. Spain was born March 11, 1889, in Asheville, NC. He came to Los Angeles in 1906...he received all his Masonic degrees in 1918 in six weeks, an unusual feat...And until the very last, his family noted, Spain drive his car to the office.

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Postby Nathan » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:34 am

Image
Image

According to the gal answering the phone there, they've got new owners, and as far as the Kaiser sign goes, "the old owner kept it." When asked if there was any way I could have information about the old owner, her (probably understandable) reluctance about giving out information to some guy over the phone came out -- no, there's no way she'd have that kind of information.

So that's good news, if it's true, I mean, who's got the wherewithal to keep a thirty foot, three hundred pound piece of metal? But let's say we don't doubt its veracity and just say Huzzah!

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Postby Nathan » Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:52 pm

Geo. E. Spain has be deneoned and painted over.

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Postby Nathan » Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:58 pm

Image Image
Image (flickr)

This signage is gone. Can only assume it's been dumpstered, as the El Dorado returns to its former life as the Stowell.

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Postby nichols » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:52 pm

Maybe not, Nathan...

El Dorado Partners LLC hired RPA to restore and convert the old hotel into condominium units and ground floor commercial space. The firm will restore and repair historical details such as the ornate hand railings in the entry hall, columns and capitals, and plaster ceilings. The Hotel El Dorado blade sign will be refurbished, and the green brick façade will be thoroughly cleaned to preserve the delicate finish."

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2007/11/el_dorado.php
Image

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Postby Nathan » Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:01 pm

Jinkies! Well, I take it back then. Of course, until such time as I see the blade back up there, I'll file it in the I'll believe-it-when-I-see-it file.

And I hope they don't go the usual red and white. Or blue and white. C'mon already.

And not that I don't love neon...but there's something of the purist in me at times...she was the Stowell from 1913 to 1950, when renamed the Earle after she was bought out by the Milner chain, and redubbed the El Dorado in '55.

They shoulda gone with Stowell. Yeah, El Dorado evokes all the mythos of Southern California, and besides, there's a giant neon sign. But she was still the Stowell for the first 37 years of her life. Ok, so I'm in a funny mood.

Image

At least leave the ghost sign.
Image

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Postby Nathan » Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:32 pm

Image

That the Sears Roebuck neon is gone, of that we know, as mentioned here -- http://flickr.com/photos/79761301@N00/1255128790/ -- but now we say goodbye to this -- http://flickr.com/photos/79761301@N00/1370556346/ -- it was just such a landmark as one drove down the street -- http://flickr.com/photos/rocketfever/251084630/ -- I don't know how long it's been gone but it's news to me as of today...Linoleum City, RIP.


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