A street downtown is looking a lot more retro these days.
The city of Edmonton and the Neon Sign Museum have put up ten new historic neon signs on 104th Street, bringing the total number of neon signs on the street to 18.
David Johnston, principal heritage planner with the city, says many of the signs are originals but some are replicas, because they were too damaged or were made of wood and neon, which is against fire codes.
“The Princess Theatre sign, the original sign is so deteriorated and wasn’t able to be rehabilitated at all, so that sign is a replica,” explains Johnston. “Pretty much all the rest of the signs are original and have been refurbished.”
The museum, which is the first of its kind in Canada, showcases the signs on the outside of the Telus Building and the Mercer Building downtown.
He says all the signs, whether original or replicas, were part of Edmonton’s past.
“A lot of them are truly iconic signs that people remember and people used them as landmarks and things like that,” explains Johnston. “A number of them were just in storage yards or rusting away in places so we wanted to capture them back.”
“The signs on the Telus Building are all up and we expanded the museum to the Mercer building, across the street, to accommodate one-sided signs,” explains Johnston. “The original profile of the museum was for two-sided signs that project out from the wall but we had a number of one-sided signs coming our way.”
He says they have one more one-sided sign that was just acquired that will go up after it is refurbished.
Johnston says the new signs are from Georgia Baths, The Art Store, Trucks, WW Arcade, Call the Kettle Black, WC Kay Jeweler, Colonel Mustard’s, Pantages Theatre, Colonel Mustard’s and the Princess Theatre are all now hanging on 104th.
Signs that were already hanging included Cliff’s Auto Parts, Canadian Furniture, Canadian National Railways, Drug Store Sign, Mike’s News, Northern Alberta Railways and XL Furniture.
Johnston says the signs are iconic representations of commercial signage from Edmonton’s past.
He says there are not many signs left in storage and asks anyone with retro Edmonton neon signs they’d be willing to part with, to contact them. (twd)