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January 29, 2013


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Tell me why again is neon not allowed anymore?

Ranz: what gave you the idea that neon is illegal. they still manufacture neon signs, but the skills required to make them are pretty specialized trades There is some question about neon lights under vehicles as a distraction to other drivers, I think some colors are restricted on cars in California. thats all I know for sure.

neon is very expensive to maintain! if you notice the x on fox is burned out!

I'm certain I read something somewhere where either Vera or the last idiot implemented a restricted or limited use policy regarding neon downtown.

Not true Greg. Vera actually had the signed code revised to allow for more neon signs downtown. The recent Saucebox and US Outdoor signs on SW Broadway are recent additions allowed under the new rules.

Sign codes that came into place in the 70s and 80s had size and location restrictions that made it pretty tough to put up a neon sign in town.

John is correct about the high cost of maintenance. This is why you just don't see much neon anywhere outside of Las Vegas these days.

The Fox introduced Cinerama to Portland. it had the second largest screen in the country the first movie in Cinerama that I remember seeing there was the ROBE, followed by Dimetrius & the Gladiators, and the ten commandments. It was beautifully ornate in Art Deco. Shame it was demolished. One persons idea as progress, anothers as waste.

I just finished reading and heartily endorse "Theatres of Portland" by Gary Lacher and Steve Stone. Part of the ongoing "Images of America" series this is one of the very best of an interesting group.
Anybody with an interest in Portland's past will revel in this book!

Hey, is that a bit of Mr. Stumps family fortune there in the lower left?

I was wondering if there is a picture/pictures that anyone has seen of the Neon sign that was on top of the Public Services Building. I remember reading that they removed it in 1972. When I was a kid I was memorized by the way it would go through different color combinations, heat, power etc. finally ending/starting over with Pacific Power.

I also liked the 7up sign on the former milk jug on Sandy Boulevard.

Also does anyone know why the clock doesn't work in the Jackson Tower?

Rob: the coolest sign neon wise was on top of the IRWIN HODSON building on Powell at the end of the Ross Island bridge it was huge could see it for miles away. the clock in the Jackson Tower is not working because it ran out of time. :^)

Lance, thanks for the clarification - I was certain I had read/heard that somewhere. I stand corrected.

Rob, I definitely remember the Pacific Power alternating sign.
We could see it from our house - at the time it was one of the tallest buildings downtown!

But what I don't remember is what the sign on the Irwin Hodson building originally was.

I remember the sign of the Irwin Hodson building, I remember it saying something like Lifetime Gifts. I also thought it looked like someone built a sign and stuck a building under it.

I also liked the Mayflower signed close by. When we were driving home from Grandma's out on Sandy we would hit Barbur and, from a distance, it looked just like a giant candle.

Wasn't it S&H Green Stamps on the Hodson sign?

I have to set the record straight on the Irwin Hodson sign. The sign was not neon, the building it was on was the old Alumilox Shingles company who owned the building. the sign advertised Alumilox for years. S&H Green stamps were also advertised after that. Irwin Hodson bought the building and later sold it. It was an electric sign that was readable from the top of Mt. Tabor, but it was not neon. I stand self corrected.

I thought the Hodson sign on Powell said "Lifetime Roof" at one time. I remember it as primarily mostly red.

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