SCA WEEKLY NEWS REVIEW: December 25, 2022

2022_11_30_Mel_s_Drive_In_Signs_LA

SCA WEEKLY NEWS REVIEW: December 25, 2022

A Domino Sugar sign is lighting up the Brooklyn skyline for the first time in almost 20 years

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Photograph: Courtesy of Two Trees

From Timeout: What’s old is new again: a replica of the iconic 40-foot-tall Domino Sugar neon sign that adorned the Brooklyn skyline for over a century has been installed on top of the historic Domino Refinery building, which served as the Domino Sugar Factory plant from the 1880s to the early 2000s.

A bit of history: the legendary Thomas Havemeyer building was erected in 1882 on an 11-acre site in Williamsburg right by the East River. An extremely lucrative business from the start, the refinery produced 5,000 barrels of sugar daily back during the 19th century but, after World War II, as corn syrup and other alternatives gained popularity, the staff started solely refining liquid sugar on-premise.

In 2003, the plant shuttered and the site became home to new developments, including the now-beloved Domino Park. The building was protected by its landmark status, but the iconic sign was not and it was therefore moved to a nearby location.

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‘Ghost signs’ in Louisville reveal bygone era. Here’s where to find them

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Longtail Building. Columbia Trust Co. Whirlaway Inn. Whiskey by the drink. 2532 S. 4th St., Louisville. Michael Clevenger/Courier Journal

From the Courier-Journal: Hidden on the walls of old buildings scattered across Louisville are fading remnants of the city’s past.

They’re called “ghost signs,” and they’re typically hand-painted advertisements of bygone businesses ― some dating back to the late 1800s.

These signs once lined commercial corridors in cities and towns around the world, advertising in bold text every manner of business: pharmacies and grocery stores, saloons and manufacturing plants.

“They’re such a special thing,” said Branden “Alyx” McClain, a muralist and owner of Slugger City Signs, one of the few remaining purveyors of this lost craft in Kentucky. “They show age and history, how busy certain areas were … a healthy environment.”

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Amazon installs historic Elephant Car Wash sign on Seattle HQ campus, blocks from original home

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The Elephant Super Car Wash sign atop its new perch at the corner of 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street on Amazon’s Seattle headquarters campus. (Amazon Photo)

From GeekWire: One of Seattle’s beloved neon pink elephants is back up and smiling.

Amazon installed the smaller Elephant Car Wash sign on its headquarters campus on Thursday, relighting a piece of Seattle history that stood just blocks away for more than 60 years.

A crane placed the non-rotating sign atop a white pole at the corner of 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street, a stone’s throw from The Spheres in the shadow of Amazon’s main Denny Triangle office towers.

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Photos: Newly restored Tucson Inn sign lights up for the first time

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A few people stop to get photos the newly refurbished neon sign for the Tucson Inn, glowing along Drachman Street, Tucson, Ariz., December 14, 2022. Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star

From Tucson.com: The neon sign for the Tucson Inn, newly repaired and restored, was lit for the first time, December 14, 2022, since the work was completed early last month. The sign is expected to be fully operational in the first part of next year.

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75 Years In, Mels Drive-In Still Plays the Diner Hits

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The vintage signage remains. Photography by Wonho Frank Lee

From Eater Los Angeles: On a busy weekend morning at Mels Drive-In, customers slide in and out of deep green booths with ease, sharing square plates of pancake stacks or grilled ham steaks with eggs. Coffee refills come fast. The sun pours in from large plate-glass windows that look out over the boulevard; the room is wrapped in black and white photos of carhops, forgotten celebrities, and beehive hairdos. For some, it might seem challenging to run a restaurant that also doubles as a kind of cultural museum, but not to Colton Weiss. Weiss is the third-generation co-owner of the iconic retro diner chain with more than a half-dozen locations, known for its big neon signs, classic soda jerk outfits, and staple coffee shop menu. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

“My great-grandfather Jack had restaurants inside of old Walgreens, way back in like the ’30s,” says Weiss. But it was his grandfather David “Mel” Weiss who would really forge the family’s fortune, riding the cultural rise of carhop restaurants in the late 1940s to build one of the most recognizable brands on the West Coast. This week, Mels Drive-In celebrates 75 years since Mel Weiss opened the first restaurant in San Francisco, altering the diner landscape of Southern California (and according to Colton Weiss, the movie industry) forever.

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