Historic Sign Restoration

Sign Magic was honored to take part in the restoration of one of Tucson’s oldest signs. Sign Magic partnered with Sparkle Cleaners and the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation to bring a little piece of Tucson’s past back to life. Restoring historic signs has become a new trend so this topic generated some public interest. Our local news, Channel 4 News, featured a story about this project on the evening news. The Arizona Daily Star published a photo paired with an article detailing the sign and its story. The sign even won the Heritage Award, which was presented to Sparkle Cleaners. This was an exciting project to be a part of!

 

The original sign in 1955 (top left) The restored sign lit at night (top right) The restored sign in daylight (botton left) The Heritage Award (bottom right)

The original sign in 1955 (top left) The restored sign lit at night (top right) The restored sign in daylight (botton left) The Heritage Award (bottom right)

The restoration process can be a lot of work. These signs have been exposed to the elements for decades, and the Arizona sun can take its toll! These old signs are illuminated using neon lighting, most of which needs to be repaired or replaced. Neon is a dying form of art; Each letter or form has to be hand blown and shaped and, as you can imagine, this takes a lot of time and dedication. Today, most signs are equipped with the cheaper alternative of LED lighting. In addition to lighting issues, the structure of the sign itself will normally need some work. Rust is just one of the things weakening the signs. New paint is an obvious issue to be addressed, and most of the painting on historic signs was done by hand. To see the finished project makes all the hard work going into these signs worth the work we do!