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Cora Potter

The real question is...where has the Kupie Cone gone?


Another gem was the "Quality Pie" sign that used to be up at NW 23rd and Marshall.

I've heard Wieden+Kennedy has that one(?)


Hung Far Low...what an incredible dive that was...but the drinks were stiff and the woman serving them was...well...she was something else altogether...


There's a nice old...I think it's an abandoned neon hotel sign...it's been aging gracefully for years now on the W side of the Everett St lofts. Somewhere, I've got a picture of it I took years back; nice rich tones in the old faded paint.

The Hung Far Lo sign and it's supporting steel work is extraordinary. Always loved it except for the stupidly obnoxious conversion of the word 'cocktails' to one more deliberately hinting at a vulgar meaning.

Where the Barracuda nightclub now is, it seems there was once something called the American (formerly 'Portland') Advertising Museum. Wikipedia has an article on it. It failed and the entire collection lost to a Wisconsin museum.

Museums are fine for seeing relics from the past, but when possible, I think it's better to see them in their natural setting; bathed in continually changing light and weather, changing as they gradually acquire an appearance they never could in a museum. Signs; neon or wood: they can be reproduced, so deterioration by outside display shouldn't be such a deterrence to allowing them to exist there.

Re; wooden signs. One in the Old Town area that I really miss was located for many years up until about two years ago, on the south side of a building occupied by a Chinese restaurant. It was big, robin's egg blue with just two Chinese characters in black; no other lettering. One day, I asked a Chinese kid outside the restaurant, what it said, but he couldn't really tell me. The sign was beautiful though, aged as it was. Paint and wood had cracked, giving it lots of character.


yes, hung far low has moved way far out, leaving us with only a dimmed sign and hopper-esque memories. this is one of the sadder things about how portland changed while i was away, but its not quite the travesty that occurred along I-5 at waddle's.


just wanted to give a quick recognition
to the ACE Hotel on Stark Street for
artfully re-using two existing signs on
their building renovation....


As the Interstate Ave. motels are gradually replaced, why not preserve some of the neighborhood's historic character by erecting the signs in the median of the MAX line?


As much as I like the Ryan Gwinner Press sign, I am much more worried about the signs, disappearing one by one, from Interstate Ave. I think signs neon and otherwise on buildings add both character, and sometimes become landmarks. I wish the city would encourage more artistic lighted signs on buildings (high-rises too) with unique (Made In Oregon type) motifs.


^to add on, I really like Flaneur's idea. Turn the signs into an artistic centerpiece of the MAX yellow line. Add plaques that display the original picture of the signs attached to their building. The MAX line becomes an affordable 'museum line' with tourists getting off on every stop throughout the line.

Even better, the signs lighted at night would bring tourist on the 'scary after sundown' line, through the area, bringing bodies, eyes, cameras, tourists, and nightlife onto the yellow line.


I've heard that neon signs are very expensive to maintain, and that they eat up a lot of energy. That means quite a commitment is required to keep the ones already existing around, and encouraging more to be created.

I'm not sure I understand the appeal of the Ryan Gwinner Press sign. The top part is just a plain box sign. The lower part...what's with that? Is it deliberately wrinkled like that or did something hit it? I can't seem to tell from the picture.

Mid-Century Modern League

You can find out what happened to Kupie Cone right here.

John T

I sympathize with the sign-preserving folks and with the keep-Portland-weird sentiment, but that Ryan Gwinner Press sign? Seriously?

toronto condominiums

The article is good. But I have a doubt. Where is Kupie Cone. Where has it gone?


A campaign has begun to Re-Erect the Hung Far Low sign. http://www.ReErectHungFarLow.com


also give kudos to Queen Bee, the new store on North Williams which has fixed up and reused its cool old sign, helping save some of the character of that street as it evolves with the neighborhood!

Maryland electric signs

An independent supermarket owner in New Haven, CT saved one of these old grocery-store neon signs from the 50s and put it up on the wall indoors. Unfortunately, the money for that was supposed to go towards fixing up the produce back-room heater so employees wouldn't freeze in winter.

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