Despite defeats, Saginaw preservationist continues fight to save Beans bunny sign’s tower

Crews remove the ‘Bean Bunny’ sign from its perch in Saginaw on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

From MLive: SAGINAW, MI — From outside his office window on the second floor of a historic mansion in downtown Saginaw, Alexander Mixter keeps his eye on the past, present and future. And he worries about all three.

“I chose this office because of its view of the Beans bunny sign,” said Mixter, manager for the Lee Commons restoration project at the downtown property once known as the Lee Mansion.

“The thought was, I was going to work on restoring the Lee mansion and then focus on the Beans tower next. Since then, there have been a lot of challenges when it comes to the tower, but that’s still the plan.”

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Neon Dream: The Rebuilding of a Brightly Lit Beacon Boosts a Nashville Neighborhood

The rebuilt sign during the day. Its pink and green colors, which match the originals, were chosen by the grandmother of the current owner, Anne Nicholas Weiss. photo by:Margaret Littman

From the National Trust for Historic Preservation: As Redford started the restoration he learned that the interior welds had rusted over time. At some point the sign had been cut into pieces and reassembled, possibly when it was moved to its current location in 1962. It was too fragile to restore; they would need to rebuild. Redford used the existing metal pieces as patterns, exactly duplicating the size (within an eighth of an inch) and shape of the originals. While working, he uncovered overlapping sections that had never been exposed to the elements, so he used those to match the original colors, some of which had been chosen by Weiss’s grandmother.

As the neighborhood—which is dotted with music venues, bars, and restaurants—suffered from coronavirus shutdowns after the tornado, Weiss felt it was important to resurrect the sign as soon as possible. Redford worked 100-hour weeks to get it done. “Many a night I laid awake thinking, ‘I have to get this right on behalf of Nashville,” he says.

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Hit the Road: Travel guide helps you get back to your routes

Travel writer Jamie Jensen took a selfie in Kinsley, Kansas, on Route 50, exactly 1,561 miles from both New York and San Francisco. The author has driven more than a half-million miles in 35 years. Courtesy photo

The Coast News Group: The ninth edition of Jamie Jensen’s “Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America’s Two-Lane Highways is a beautiful thing.

A high-quality, 900-plus page, full-color paperback that weighs in at 2 pounds even (according to my digital bathroom scale), this travel guide is the only thing you’ll need if you’re contemplating a road trip anywhere in the contiguous 48 states and southern Canada.

“You can use the book to keep in shape on the road, too,” jokes Jensen, a long-time travel writer, editor, grant writer, father of 22-year-old twins and road-tripper-to-the-core. He’s put more than a half-million miles on various vehicles over the last 35 years.

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Now Showing

Opened in 1955, the Holiday Drive-in near Rockport may be Indiana’s largest drive-in theater: it added a sixth screen in 2016. Photo: Candice Croix

From Indiana Landmarks: In 1932, Richard Hollingshead nailed a bed sheet between two trees in his New Jersey backyard and lined up cars in the driveway to watch a movie projected from a 1928 Kodak projector mounted on the hood of his car. After vigorous testing (he used a sprinkler to imitate rain), Hollingshead patented his idea, and the drive-in theater was born.

At one time, more than 4,000 drive-ins dotted the U.S. landscape. Families, couples, and carloads of teenagers pulled up in front of giant screens on warm nights to take in the latest films, cartoons, and concession stand promos featuring boxes of popcorn marching along to catchy tunes.

In the 1970s and ’80s, new entertainment options, including multiplex theaters, pulled patrons away from drive-ins, forcing many out of business. Later, the expensive upgrade to digital projection systems required to show first-run movies became another financial obstacle.

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A dazzling pop-up neon light museum is opening in River North

Photograph: Courtesy Neon and Light Museum | “It Is” by Jacob Fishman (2021)

From Time Out: Last fall, the Ken Saunders Gallery presented a free exhibition entitled “On Neon,” showcasing a small collection of signs that channeled the kitschy, nostalgic and eye-catching glow of vacuum sealed glass tubes. This September, you’ll be able to check out an even larger collection of neon- and light-based sculptures at the pop-up Neon and Light Museum, which will display nearly 70 works of art in River North.

Taking over a space at 325 West Huron Street (the former home of Latin American restaurant Naçional 27), the Neon and Light Museum is scheduled to begin an eight-week run on September 9, and is curated by Ken Saunders. The pieces on display range from large interactive works like Monika Wulfer’s “Circle’s Edge” to smaller pieces like the sign by Jason Pickleman that’s pictured above.

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