« Blue Collar Architecture Tour | Main | What Ever Happened to Burnside Bridgehead? »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Reddy Kilowatt lives on, at All Service Musical Electronics Repair, on Belmont, just off Grand. Reddy is in the front window and there's a picture of him on the company website. http://www.all-service-musical.com/

I couldn't agree more on the need of preserving historic neon signs. I can still remember seeing the Equitable S&L sign and others atop downtown buildings at night from my Mt. Tabor childhood home.


Duffy's article was great to read. It's interesting to consider all the reactions that are brought forth when big change stands to occur. I suppose under the right circumstances, Interstate could be sustained as a living museum for the positive times those signs represented to the golden age of driving. The odds are that upward mobility will have people soon forgetting the bad times associated with junkies and hookers on Interstate, the same as has happened on Mississippi.

The signs cost a lot of money to run and maintain, as I remember from news reports at the time when the White Stag's fate was considered. Addressing that problem, when the signs are changed a bit to promote a new business, the result can be an adjustment. I'm not sure I ever liked the effect of the Naito family putting 'Made In Oregon' on the White Stag sign, but I suppose it was only fair for them to do so.

Then there's the Guild theatre sign on the Studio Building at SW 9th and Taylor, converted to read 'Pastini' to promote the pasta restaurant on the SE corner of the building. Got to give them credit for generally sustaining the life of a great old sign, though I really miss the old Guild name on that sign with the accompanying comedy/tragedy dramatic theatre masks.


Is there a place where these types of signs are documented? Not just the endangered ones but the type. Collecting them together, lit and unlit if possible, could raise more public awareness.


Excellent summary of the issue and the key players. Very informative. This same dynamic plays out with almost any kind of preservation issue. The clash is between a well-meaning developer's desire to modify his property and a neighborhood desire to preserve some aspect of it (tree, sign, historic building, etc.).

Jeff Joslin

A historic corrective footnote.

The White Stag saga's a little more complex than represented. The sign is actually owned by Ramsay Signs, the builder of the sign in all its manifestations over time. Other users (it was originally White Satin Sugar, then White Stag, the Made in Oregon, and next....) rent the sign accordingly.

This has resulted in challenges at various points in time, as the sign and the building have been owned and maintained independently, and are both landmarks in their own right (with associated protections. At thsi time, the clearly landmarked attributes include: the overall sign and composition, the text style, the animation/sequencing of the elements and, of course, Rudolph.

Alyssa Starelli

There IS a compendium of signs and motels it's: http://www.vintageroadside.com/. And the Atomic Age Alliance

Alyssa Starelli, VP and Founder
Atomic Age Alliance - Portland

alyssa starelli

Sorry, my above post didn't work out so well.

Anyway, the Atomic Age Alliance-Portland (AAAPDX.org) is garnering great community support and is working with the city to a. save the sign now and b. set up the infrastructure that will help to protect the remaining signage on Interstate. We're working on a solution and will continue to share as we have more details. Thanks for your support!


Thanks for following this issue so well. I had blogged about it over on Portland Metblogs, but it didn't seem to get much traction. I'm glad you have the readership who can make a difference.

Save the neon!

BTW, I have the original Marions Furnitur sign from their furniture store on N. Interstate. Maybe it can be used also in some Neon park.

Sandy Duffy

Alyssa - do you mean Marino's? It was on that VERY purple building.

It's great fun to see all the comments on my article.

And, benschon, thank you for the real scoop on "the stag." I, too, would have preferred that it had remained more original, but that we still have it is the most important thing.

I work in the Multnomah Building on Hawthorne and SE Grand. I'm heading right over to All Service Musical to see Reddy!


Mid-Century Modern League

This is to notify you of our organization's name change. Please update the links on your site to reflect the following:

Old name: Atomic Age Alliance - Portland
New name: Mid-Century Modern League or MCMLeague

Old URL: http://www.aaapdx.org
New URL: http://www.mcmleague.org

Dear AAA-PDX members and friends,
We are pleased to announce that the Atomic Age Alliance-Portland will now be known as the Mid-Century Modern League. You will find that the aaapdx.org website will be redirected to our new site at mcmleague.org and see some great changes coming in the near future.

Thank you!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Lead Sponsors


Portland Architecture on Facebook


  • StatCounter
Blog powered by Typepad

Paperblogs Network

Google Analytics

  • Google Analytics

Awards & Honors