Historic Hacienda Hotel in downtown New Port Richey restored to its former glory


On the southeast corner at Bank & Main Street, the view is clear of the historic Hacienda Hotel. Built in 1927, it’s New Port Richey’s iconic downtown landmark. Fred Bellet

From Suncoast News: NEW PORT RICHEY — The change in the air is palpable as soon as you step into the courtyard of the newly restored Hacienda Hotel on Main Street — the aura of money-plus-glamour-meets-the-Jazz-Age is impossible to miss.

The nearly century-old Spanish Mediterranean Revival gem, which is designated a National Historical Landmark, opened its doors for business this past summer after a yearslong restoration effort by owner Jim Gunderson, who also owns and restored the 1883 Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora.

The Hacienda was completed in 1926, built on land owned by James Meighan, a local real estate magnate.

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Fields of the Wood: Roadside attraction of biblical proportion gets a cleaning


Pictured: Fields of the Wood, home to the world’s largest Ten Commandments, according to the park’s website, in Murphy, North Carolina in autumn, 2022. Bill Hutson, who owns H & H Softwash in Franklin, North Carolina with his wife decided it was time the roadside attraction of biblical proportion got a good cleaning, so he’s been volunteering his time to pressure wash the theme park. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

From WLOS.com: From breweries to Biltmore Estate, Western North Carolina is known for many sights, but few may know it’s also home to one of the world’s largest roadside attractions.

Nestled in the mountains of Murphy lies a roadside attraction of biblical proportion: Fields of the Wood.

“If you Google the world’s largest Ten Commandments, that’s what you get,” said Bill Hutson, who’s been volunteering at the park.

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Neon Signs That Lit Up Hong Kong’s Nights Become a Dying Art


Neon signs in Hong Kong. Photographer: Lam Yik/Bloomberg

From Bloomberg: A group of young enthusiasts are fighting to give Hong Kong’s famed neon signs a new lease on life, before they disappear completely from the city due to tightened government regulations and dwindling demand.

Once ubiquitous in Hong Kong, the signs — which became familiar to foreign audiences through movies like Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell — have been steadily removed in the last few decades. The recent dismantling of some of the largest remaining ones, however, is rekindling interest in the local art form.

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Did you see the sign? Yorktown Square landmark shines once again


The neon Yorktown Square sign, located at 1341 Grand Marais Rd. W. was lit on Wednesday night. The company that owns the sign said most of it was still working. (Courtesy N&D Property Management)

From the CBC: Residents of the South Windsor neighbourhood got a surprise on Wednesday night, when the Yorktown Square sign shone brightly once again.

The neon icon, which dates back to 1954, appears on Windsor’s heritage register. It was restored in 2011 but hasn’t been regularly illuminated in years.

Michelle Soulliere was one of many who caught a glimpse of the sign lit up.

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Vintage Neon of Milwaukee


From the Shepherd Express: In nearly any downtown city in the world, you’re going to see numerous neon lights and signs. In the 20th century, enterprising advertisers used neon signs to sell merchandise and to promote various types of entertainment.

It was at the 1910 Paris Motor Show that neon was introduced to the public. George Cloud, a French engineer, unveiled a glass tube filled with neon gas by sending voltage through the tube. The glass glowed with a magnificent light unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. Somewhat rudimentary versions predated this invention, but this event was the first time that technology was used, thus Cloud became known as the father of the neon sign. Cloud immediately recognized the marketing potential and opened Cloud Neon and quickly began selling his neon signs to the wealthiest buyers.

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