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Thread: Neon museum a bright idea

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    Lightbulb Neon museum a bright idea

    Neon museum a bright idea
    -- Beautify city core with old signs from heritage buildings, plan suggests

    Gordon Kent, The Edmonton Journal
    Published: 1:31 am September 09, 2008


    The future of downtown Edmonton will be brighter under a proposal to create what's believed to be Canada's only outdoor neon sign museum.

    The idea is one of the suggestions in the draft downtown plan aimed at ensuring the city core remains a major cultural and entertainment destination, planner Colton Kirsop said Monday.

    "The city has a lot of old, historic neon signs that we have collected off heritage buildings that didn't survive to the present day, and other neon signs from notable buildings that maybe weren't heritage but were unique or iconic signs people would remember."

    Link:
    http://www.canada.com/edmontonjourna...e-9c7b1bab5443

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    Excellent idea!

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    This is by far one of the coolest ideas ever. And the best place for it is right behind the museum on the square (you know, the one that's always empty?).

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    Molson Square would be a great idea. I guess they'd just be mounted up high on posts to keep them safe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    Molson Square would be a great idea. I guess they'd just be mounted up high on posts to keep them safe?
    I don't mind if they're mounted out of reach... If there's as many signs sitting in storage as the article suggests, I would love to see them stretch from Molson Square all the way down RHW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    Molson Square would be a great idea. I guess they'd just be mounted up high on posts to keep them safe?
    I don't mind if they're mounted out of reach... If there's as many signs sitting in storage as the article suggests, I would love to see them stretch from Molson Square all the way down RHW.
    If there is that many of them, why not go all the way?

    Incorporate them into the whole downtown, and include them in new development (read: The Quarters). Include a little information about the business they were used for, maybe even the original building they were on. Turn the whole thing into a downtown/Quarters walking tour and give out maps everywhere.

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    love the idea..
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    Yes, very cool. A walking tour would be awesome too... but only once the Quarters is at least half developed, otherwise, who's going to want to walk through that neighborhood to see a bunch of old signs. At this point, I think the Quarters is off limits, but sometime in the future, this will definitely change.

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    I'm all for it. That's one of the most original ideas I've seen in a long time. I do know that the
    old Mike's News Stand sign is sitting in storage at the Edmonton Archives. Would love to see that one again. Do you remember it? It's a man reading the Toronto Star Weekly, and he has his legs crossed, and one leg swings back and forth.
    Fly Edmonton first. Support EIA

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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    Yes, very cool. A walking tour would be awesome too... but only once the Quarters is at least half developed, otherwise, who's going to want to walk through that neighborhood to see a bunch of old signs. At this point, I think the Quarters is off limits, but sometime in the future, this will definitely change.
    Yep, make it part of the development, so that as the Quarters grows, the amount of signs displayed grows. Of course, if we were ever to build a new, large, realatively window-less building downtown, (cough-arena-cough) they could be incorporated there, as well.

    Wise man say, people will flock to downtown when there is enough (as each person defines it) things to see and do.

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    This is truely a fantastic idea!
    River City of Light

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    Love this too.

    Is this unanimous?
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    I love this idea! It is definatly somthing unique and will draw attention. I do have a concern with it appearing tacky though.

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    Terrible idea. Aren't we trying to be more energy efficient? Neon signs require a lot of energy.

    Now if they were to use new LED technology, it would be a better idea.
    aka Jim Good; "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Terrible idea. Aren't we trying to be more energy efficient? Neon signs require a lot of energy.

    Now if they were to use new LED technology, it would be a better idea.
    Yes, every efforts are being made to be more energy efficient (as we should) BUT these are old or unique signs that were created using neon technology.

    Using them, especially as a draw/attraction makes a whole lot more sense then to let them be forgotten IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraW View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Terrible idea. Aren't we trying to be more energy efficient? Neon signs require a lot of energy.

    Now if they were to use new LED technology, it would be a better idea.
    Yes, every efforts are being made to be more energy efficient (as we should) BUT these are old or unique signs that were created using neon technology.

    Using them, especially as a draw/attraction makes a whole lot more sense then to let them be forgotten IMO.
    If energy use is a concern, I'm sure they could be powered, at least partially, with solar power. IIRC, that's what they do with some public lighting now, no?

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    Actually Most neon only uses high amounts of what is called strike voltage and amperage to arc the gas into the illumination cycle. Once lit it's pretty efficient
    http://www.egl-neon.com/news/dispell...h-part-ii.html

    That said, LED is more efficient but aint got the look of gas tube

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    I'm sorry if I sound pessimistic, but I can see this being done more badly than good. This is one idea I really don't think would work for Edmonton.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraW View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Terrible idea. Aren't we trying to be more energy efficient? Neon signs require a lot of energy.

    Now if they were to use new LED technology, it would be a better idea.
    Yes, every efforts are being made to be more energy efficient (as we should) BUT these are old or unique signs that were created using [OLD] neon technology.

    Using them, especially as a draw/attraction makes a whole lot more sense then to let them be forgotten IMO.
    I LOVE (!!!) neon sign art, and if they could do it without using unreal amounts of energy, I'd love to see this.
    aka Jim Good; "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

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    I'd love to see a contrast here somehow. A block a historic neon signs and then a block of well designed modern architectural lighting.

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    ^ Good idea, but why stop at one block?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Terrible idea. Aren't we trying to be more energy efficient? Neon signs require a lot of energy.

    Now if they were to use new LED technology, it would be a better idea.

    Actually neon is pretty efficient.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    Do this.

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    Or by the International airport - a place to go when people have to check out of their hotels but have no where to go until their plane leaves...

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Or by the International airport - a place to go when people have to check out of their hotels but have no where to go until their plane leaves...
    No, bad bad bad idea. It's not like we have that many people flying to Edmonton and then waiting to transfer to another plane. There just aren't enough people getting layovers here. And I sure don't want to drive all the way out to the airport to see something like this. BAD IDEA!!!

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    I love this idea and think it should be located somewhere downtown. Edmonton needs alot more neon on it's streets.

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    Great idea, but will it happen?
    Edmontonian and proud of it!

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    I think it would be great, but I think it would work better in higher density areas. Perhaps on 108 Street, once Capital Boulevard is refurbished.

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    Maybe around the old EPCOR Power plant, Lots of space and wiring

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cat View Post

    I think it would be great, but I think it would work better in higher density areas. Perhaps on 108 Street, once Capital Boulevard is refurbished.
    How can they take a great idea & completely scre* it up.......

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton Journal

    Though the proposal is in its infancy, it already has the support of Coun. Ben Henderson.

    He'd like to see neon signs illuminating an alley near Rice Howard Way, along with plaques outlining their background.
    Former 124 Street BRZ Board member Gerry Wright had a great idea of creating a neon business strip - tried (was unsuccessful) to convince everyone during the renovations that people would walk the streets after dark (Edmonton is presently dark after 8 p.m.) if there was something that jumped out at them...

    If they take the 15 or 16 signs the city has access to - then place them along a strip (with plaques outlining the history) & the businesses then put neon signs inside their businesses - instant tourist attraction.

    So long as the city does not find a way to scre* things up................
    When in doubt - follow the money trail...

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    This idea...just...plain...ROCKS!!!!!
    Onward and upward

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    .

    Now if they were to use new LED technology, it would be a better idea.

    Sorry, but in my personal opinion, compared to Neon, LED just sucks. Even the Christmas lights I've moved to due to energy consumption do not have the same sparkle and jump as the old C6 bulbs. LED just kind of glows, or blasts energy in one direction. I've seen some LED displays that are rather cool, but neon with its shimmer, its buzz from the transformer, its bright and woven designs just kicks LED to the curb.

    I have a few archival photos of Jasper in the 1930's, and the neon is just spectacular - even in B&W.

    So, go ahead and use LED in the new signs. I fully support that. But for this idea, neon all the way baby!
    Onward and upward

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    Default neon museum boneyard

    Just came across this Las Vegas site today
    http://www.neonmuseum.org/boneyard.html

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    Where is this idea...I would volunteer to help wire this up.

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    Would be great in the west EPCOR power plant building
    Right ?

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    I'd prefer on the street rather than inside, although if it were to be inside I suppose the old powerplant is as good as any, provided the whole plant is redeveloped well.

    The budget documents someone posted either here or on ssp had 400,000 for a neon museum either this year or next, although I don't recall whether it was funded or just a wish of some department or other.

    I'd love to see this happen.

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    Gravedigging this topic.

    Has there been any further talk of this idea?

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    Quote Originally Posted by danimalrex View Post
    Gravedigging this topic.

    Has there been any further talk of this idea?
    my thoughts exactly.
    alleged energy concerns et all this idea RULES .
    what's happening?

    i love how Jimbo knee-jerk shat all over it.
    "what? everyone's agreeing? must... disagree!!"

    and RTA
    I'm sorry if I sound pessimistic, but I can see this being done more badly than good. This is one idea I really don't think would work for Edmonton.
    yeah but why? I'm inclined to agree with you because let's face it - people suck at making plans a reality - but if you want something done well...

    anyway

    long live forums.

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    re:^
    Love how some people don't read the thread. But welcome to C2E, and thanks for contributing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DebraW View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Terrible idea. Aren't we trying to be more energy efficient? Neon signs require a lot of energy.

    Now if they were to use new LED technology, it would be a better idea.
    Yes, every efforts are being made to be more energy efficient (as we should) BUT these are old or unique signs that were created using [OLD] neon technology.

    Using them, especially as a draw/attraction makes a whole lot more sense then to let them be forgotten IMO.
    I LOVE (!!!) neon sign art, and if they could do it without using unreal amounts of energy, I'd love to see this.
    Please take the time to read the thread before dumping on my post. I love neon. I don't love burning up tons of energy. I don't disagree just because everyone else agrees. I gave my reason, and when it was pointed out it wouldn't use a lot of energy, I was in support. And I'm not going to stop trying to be energy efficient, or apologize for that.

    I suspect it's still in the works, but lot's of budgets are being trimmed.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 28-08-2009 at 08:33 PM. Reason: addition
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenniplease View Post
    and RTA
    I'm sorry if I sound pessimistic, but I can see this being done more badly than good. This is one idea I really don't think would work for Edmonton.
    yeah but why? I'm inclined to agree with you because let's face it - people suck at making plans a reality - but if you want something done well...
    To be honest, it's been so long that I can't even remember why I said that. I must've been having a bad week or something. I guess now that my subconscious has had time to process it, I don't think it's that bad an idea anymore.
    Strathcona City Separatist

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    A new arena would make a spectacular housing for this
    Certainly should have the space

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    Great spot for this. Not only will it draw people North on 104th, but it will add to the spectacle that will be the arena district.

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    Friggen awesome!

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    VERY COOL!!! Great addition to the very exciting 104th st.

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    Wow, really looking forward to this. It should be epic. Sounds though like it is all local, wonder if there will be room for not so local stuff especially if it has particular value or historical interest.

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    Is the neon coming off the weaton GM whyte ave dealership ?
    They have a spectacular rotating pilon with Oldsmoblie written in script on it
    Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

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    This will be a great attraction. I hope they find other signs from the region that would work well for this museum. I have to admit that 104 st is really coming along. Soon I hope that the empty lots that are along that road get filled and add further businesses and people to the area.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueline View Post
    Is the neon coming off the weaton GM whyte ave dealership ?
    They have a spectacular rotating pilon with Oldsmoblie written in script on it
    I believe I read somewhere that they're refurbishing their neon and putting it back on the building. Drove past the other day and it looks like it has all been taken off for their renovations.

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    My uncle has been in the sign business for the past 25 years, even doing side-projects involving neon signs. I am sure he will be excited about this. Great news for downtown Edmonton. If they can add not only pieces from Edmonton and area, but Canada, perhaps this will be a tourist attraction. At the very least, this gives some alternative entertainment for the people of Edmonton.

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    can't find any more recent info on google at all. Any news or updates on this?

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    Mixed feelings about this... my condo faces directly onto this building. If they do it tastefully it will be fine, but i do not want to look at a giant neon explosion at night as well.

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    ^I'm pretty sure "neon explosion" sums up exactly what this will be.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    the residents of Square 104 are going to be in for a lot of change in the coming years with this & hopefully an arena entertainment district next door.

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    Based purely on my opinion of the exterior, I always thought Square 104 was a temporary structure anyway.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    There is a rendering of the neon museum on the Edmonton Heritage Council website...

    It also mentions an information session on the project for October 25...

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    tada

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    Edmonton's Outdoor Neon Sign Museum coming soon!

    Information Card

    Info Session

    Join heritage planner David Holdsworth as he shares some of the plans for a "Neon Museum."

    Tuesday, Oct. 25 2011

    Queen Alexandra School

    7:30pm
    www.decl.org

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    Looks sweet but needs more signs. Many more signs.

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    ... gobsmacked

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    I wonder what other Neon signs are out there that can be added to the museum.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Neon museum would let old signs shine again over Edmonton
    Organizers hope to sign deal soon for use of downtown building
    By Gordon Kent, edmontonjournal.com September 28, 2011 6:02 PM

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...049/story.html
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    cannot happen soon enough !
    Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

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    " ...heritage planner David Holdsworth hopes a contract will be signed within weeks to use the Telus equipment building at 104th Street and 104th Avenue."

    Sweet. Both the location and the building.
    ... gobsmacked

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cat View Post
    Neon museum would let old signs shine again over Edmonton
    Organizers hope to sign deal soon for use of downtown building
    By Gordon Kent, edmontonjournal.com September 28, 2011 6:02 PM

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...049/story.html
    I know not to read EJ's online comments, but there was one that caught my eye:
    "I think this will be a great place to take my kids!"

    That's encouraging! I hope the notion is indicative of the public.

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    What would be even sweeter is if TELUS would do something with both that old EdTel Toll building...and the AGT Toll eyesore...er...building on 102 avenue...Neon there would go a long way too...
    Onward and upward

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    Has anyone heard anything on this idea. Curious......
    Make the RIGHT choice before you take your last breath......

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnr67 View Post
    Has anyone heard anything on this idea. Curious......
    Yep: http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/20...on-museum.html.

    Next summer!
    Last edited by Municipal Man of Mystery; 02-10-2012 at 10:58 PM.

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    This is one of the small projects I am most excited to see completed. I can't wait to see that corner glow.

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    I was just telling a bunch of people about this outside Mercer. Everybody was intrigued and looking forward to it.

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    Hoot!

    Anyone remember the wagging tail of CJCA, Tiger radio?

    That this idea is so close to reality is great news. Cudos to the dreamers and to the doers.
    ... gobsmacked

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    My favorite of the old neon signs, growing up, was the billiards place along 101 street just north of the Journal building (by the crazy variety/novelty store). Anyone else remember the one ball hitting and scattering the "rack"?

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    Check this out - Edmonton's neon heritage:
    http://www.cbc.ca/edmonton/interactive/neon/
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    That is a very cool map of the city.

    When this Neon sign museum get's installed they should have a similar type map on the street to show where these signs that are hanging used to be.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

  75. #75
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    Restoring neon signs from city’s past a labour of love for Edmonton shops
    Metro Edmonton (October 8, 2012)

    I saw this article earlier today and I'm glad to see that the museum is hopefully planned for this coming spring.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Municipal Man of Mystery View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cnr67 View Post
    Has anyone heard anything on this idea. Curious......
    Yep: http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/20...on-museum.html.

    Next summer!
    Thank you kindly!
    Make the RIGHT choice before you take your last breath......

  77. #77
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    Does anyone know where I'd phone to donate a sign I've had for a long time. The original A&W in Beverly was demolished a few years back and I salvaged a neon sign from the building. I'd like to see it hung and displayed properly and cannot think of a better way to do so. Thoughts?
    Make the RIGHT choice before you take your last breath......

  78. #78
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    The CBC article mentioned David Holdsworth with the City. Try him first.

    David Holdsworth

    Sustainable Development
    8th Floor, 10250 - 101 St NW
    Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3P4

    Telephone
    780-496-5281

    Fax 780-401-7052
    Email [email protected]
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  79. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnr67 View Post
    Does anyone know where I'd phone to donate a sign I've had for a long time. The original A&W in Beverly was demolished a few years back and I salvaged a neon sign from the building. I'd like to see it hung and displayed properly and cannot think of a better way to do so. Thoughts?
    As I have read the signs are coming through Edmonton Archives so I would suggest David Ridley with the Edmonton Heritage Council

    Here is the contact information
    http://www.edmontonheritage.ca/go/about-ehc/staff/

    BTW
    Good on ya for saving the sign...I remember the Beverly A&W in my 67 Cutlass 442.

    In my highly biased personal opinion

  80. #80
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    442... awesome.

    Really looking forward to this addition to the downtown.
    www.decl.org

    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  81. #81
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    This will definitely add a whole lot to the downtown.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Thanks for the ideas folks. I'll make the inquiries and hope the powers that be wish to have it. And yes,11ave was a meca in my day as well. The new A&W does not do it justice though.
    Make the RIGHT choice before you take your last breath......

  83. #83

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    Just went through the CBC interactive map... wow there were (and still are) some awesome signs...

    The map gives the status of the signs in many cases as being "taken down"... I don't know if this means they have been destroyed or that these signs may still be around somewhere...

    I read they are going to rebuild the HUB Cigar sign for this museum...

    Hope someone has the CJCA Tiger sign... there were two of them on the Birks Building

  84. #84
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    RFP

    City of Edmonton -
    Neon Sign Museum City of Edmonton Edmonton 02.22.2013
    5156B: Masonry Work 5155C: Structural Steel Work
    www.decl.org

    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  85. #85

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    Job No 135981154-001: To develop a Public Libraries and Cultural Exhibits Use (Neon Sign Museum on the east elevation of an existing building).
    10405 - 104 AVENUE NW
    Plan NB1 Blk 4 Lots 163-167
    PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE SERVICES
    www.decl.org

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    Still think this should have been over on 97th st and Jasper in the Canada Place area. Don't like this location at all.
    Parkdale

  87. #87

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    Location is good, with arena district. Original location in alley between BMO and KR would have been great as well.
    www.decl.org

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    Arena district (not the arena itself) is still a figment of your imagination, and that corner is never going to be all that nice. I don't know why you'd stuff this collection in an alley. Hanging off some of the old brick buildings fronting 97th and Jasper would be a much better canvas for these pieces, and they'd be much more visible
    Parkdale

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    ^But the signs are meaningless on those buildings. That is no better.
    www.decl.org

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    At least the facades are nice. The Main Wire Centre is a terrible looking bunker of a building. A promenade style museum along 97 & east Jasper would be a much nicer experience

    And there will be a lot of drunken hockey louts around to trash those signs too.
    Parkdale

  91. #91

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    I thought you said the arena district isn't happening?
    www.decl.org

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    ^ I said the arena "district" is still a figment of your imagination. You'll still get your arena, complete with gravel parking lots and hockey drunks.

    At least for the forseeable future, anyways.
    Parkdale

  93. #93

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    I just scrolled to the top to see when this was proposed: 2008.
    It's strange that, what appears to be something relatively simple, is now on it's 5th year
    (not saying it as a criticism, more of a fascination with how arduous a process this seems to be)

  94. #94

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    ^nothing is simple when you're looking for funding. It's going ahead now and everyone should be happy.
    www.decl.org

  95. #95

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    I wonder if this sign was saved, at least in part...


  96. #96

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    I think it's a great location!
    I think of art, at its most significant, as a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. —Marshall McLuhan

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    Considering what these signs will be covering up, I think this will be a great location and a nice little attraction at the end of 104st.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Yeah this building is a good fit. It's an otherwise uninteresting building (on the exterior anyway) which has very few windows and is obviously structurally sound/secure/with absolutely no chance of being knocked down for redevelopment. It's in a visible location which will only become more visible if/when neighboring developments happen.

    It would be a shame to cover up an interesting facade on a different street with these signs. It would also be a much bigger headache to coordinate with many different businesses and building owners in order to make the display span out over more than one building.

    This is the right location.

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    I am ok with the location given that it will enhance an otherwise lost facade and bookend a great street.
    www.decl.org

    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  100. #100

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    So last I heard this was to be ready in June... any movement yet?

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