Tag Archives | preservation

Photo of Hilltop Steak House sign

A few of my favorite signs

People sometimes ask me about my favorite sign, neon or otherwise. It’s hard to pick just one, but here are a few of my favorites. Twin Donuts   Boston’s Allston-Brighton neighborhood has lost some amazing signs over the years: a giant Coca-Cola sign, a neon Dunkin’ Donuts sign, and the Circle Cinema. Twin Donuts is […]

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Photo of Shell sign

Sign Spotting: Shell

Spectacular is not just an adjective. In the world of neon, the largest signs – especially those that combine neon and incandescent lights in a moving display – are also called “spectaculars.” One of the oldest surviving spectaculars in the Boston metro area is the Shell sign in Cambridge. Located along Memorial Drive (technically at […]

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Photo of Hilltop Steak House

Hilltop cactus will stay on Route 1

The cows may have scattered but the cactus will stay. That’s the word from the developer planning to build a mixed-use project on the site of the former Hilltop Steak House in Saugus, Massachusetts. “It really is an important marker for the site,” aid Michael Roberts, who is senior vice president of Boston development for […]

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Detail from neon sign

A sweet sign comes down

So I woke up a few weekends ago to the bittersweet news that the historic neon sign on the Schrafft’s building was being replaced with an LED replica. A little history for those of you who don’t know the sign:  Schrafft’s was a Boston-based candy company founded in the nineteenth century by William F. Schrafft. […]

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Photo of CITGO sign

Introducing Red Nickel Neon

Those of you who know me or have seen my photographs know that I’m a little bit obsessed with vintage neon signs. For the past few years I’ve been photographing them wherever I see them — mostly in and around Boston, but also in Chicago, California, New York City, Reno, and of course Las Vegas. […]

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Photo showing neon lights on a Havana street

Lighting up Havana

Cuban artist Kadir Lopez Nieves is on a mission to restore the neon signs that once lit up the Havana skyline, and he wants your help.  Havana Lights is a Kickstarter campaign from Adolfo V. Nodal to support Kadir’s work to relight his city one sign at a time. Kadir has established a working neon […]

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photo of orange dino

Edge of extinction

I like dinosaurs. A lot. Years ago I went digging for Plateosaurus fossils in Switzerland and, upon my return, I hosted a dino-fest for my enthusiastic but bewildered friends. So imagine my disappointment when I learned that the Route 1 Miniature Golf and Batting Cages in Saugus was sold and the fate of its well-known […]

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CIRCLE Cinema sign

Circling around

A few months ago I wrote about the Long Live Circle Cinema project devoted to the now-shuttered Circle Cinemas sitting on the Brighton-Brookline border.  You may remember that the project had two goals: (1) assemble an archive of recollections and memorabilia related to the theater and (2) find a new home for the CIRCLE sign.  […]

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