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At a glance: Neon signs make comeback in downtown Oklahoma City

At a glance: Neon signs make comeback in downtown Oklahoma City
Oklahoman Modified: August 7, 2013 at 9:00 am •  Published: August 6, 2013


Neon signs make a comeback

More than a dozen neon signs are on display along Automobile Alley, which in its 1920s through 1950s heyday was home to more than 50 car dealerships.

Some signs, like the MidTown Auto Sales display at 1100 N Broadway, are refurbished originals. Others, including the Packard sign at NW 10 and Robinson and the Pontiac sign at 1100 N Broadway, are re-creations.

Other signs, like the one at Hideaway Pizza, NW 8 and Broadway, are designed in the same shape and size but advertise the current tenant instead of the historic car brand that was once sold at that address.

In the mid-20th century, large neon rooftop signs were common throughout downtown, with notable displays including signs at the Skirvin Hotel, the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. headquarters, the Biltmore Hotel and Liberty Bank (now known as City Place Tower). Most of those signs disappeared during the Urban Renewal era of the 1960s and 1970s.

The Buick sign when built will be one of only three neon rooftop signs on display downtown, joining the century-old Colcord sign at the Colcord Hotel, Sheridan and Robinson avenues, and the Midtown Plaza Court sign at NW 10 and Walker.

Steve Lackmeyer, Business Writer

by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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