Video courtesy of Roberta Deering
On June 26, 2015, the historic Mercury Cleaners Neon Sign (circa 1946-47) was returned to 16th Street near O Street in Sacramento. SacMod was happy to be invited to participate in the relighting ceremony! The sign and business were integrated across the street from their original location and into the new Legado de Ravel Apartments complex.
Hats off to:
• CADA for understanding the importance and relevance of the Mercury Cleaners sign and working so hard to return it to 16th Street;
• To Pacific Neon for their skilled renovation;
• To all who helped behind the scenes on this project — many individuals and organizations were involved.
Our City’s historic neon signs are cultural artifacts and landmarks. They are handmade works of art. They provide a sense of place and tell the story of our city’s past.
Unfortunately, we’ve been losing them at an alarming rate. There used to be thousands — and now there are only around 100. They are lost to disrepair, abandonment, and redevelopment.
Several have been removed in the last couple of years — and many more are threatened. We are grateful to the Center for Sacramento History — who has been carefully storing some of the removed signs. We are working with the City to help keep these landmarks in their original places. When that is not possible, we aim to preserve and restore them, and reposition them back into our urban fabric. They deserve to be seen and celebrated by future generations.
Special thanks also to our generous and talented friend, Joan, of Joan Cusick Photography, who has been following the sign’s journey and documenting the nine-month rescue, restoration and return. The complete story will be available in a coffee-table photo book, with all proceeds to benefit our neon preservation campaign! More details soon!
This reinstallation sets a wonderful standard of stewardship that we hope others will follow. What a great effort to help our City retain its identity as it grows! Thank you for making it possible to re-experience this amazing and rare animated sign that brings joy to all who pass.
Long may it shine!!!