d o c o m o m o l o u i s i a n a is a regional chapter of an international committee dedicated to the

documentation and conservation of the buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the modern movement

Friday, August 6, 2010

Help Protect Landmark Neon Signage

The Preservation Resource Center's Advocacy Department has announced that the Walgreen's Pharmacy located at 900 Canal Street has applied to the Historic District Landmarks Commission to replace its Moderne neon signage with LED (light-emitting diode) signage.

Louisiana governor Huey Long’s favorite firm, Weiss, Dreyfous & Seiferth, designed this pharmacy (1938) as well as the State Capitol (1932). The Moderne pharmacy is illuminated by its original neon sign. The year of the structure's completion, Canal Street was awash in neon lights and colored paving:

“A breadth of 171 feet is distributed between two spacious sidewalks, and a wider neutral ground; both the sidewalks (called banquettes in New Orleans) and the neutral ground are paved in modernistic style with red and white terrazzo marble, reflecting the brilliant sunlight by day and the flood of electric lights by night.” (WPA Guide to New Orleans, 1938)

From the 1930s-1960s, Canal Street’s signage was almost exclusively neon (undated postcard shown above). Today, very few of its historic neon lights survive. To see other pictures of the signage and comment on the proposal, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Good news! The Historic District Landmarks Commission Architectural Review Committee denied the request to replace the neon lights with LED lights. We'll let you know if Walgreens decides to appeal this decision to the full Commission.

    ~Michelle Kimball
    Preservation Resource Center