Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tucson weighs future of its iconic neon signs

When history buff Carlos Lozano rolled into town 25 years ago, he was
struck immediately by the neon signs along Miracle Mile and Oracle Road.

“They're just so magical,” he said, noting they expressed a
cheerfulness and exuberance about life that in some ways modern culture
has lost. “I knew when I saw them that there was something special about
Tucson.”


Decades later, about 75 percent are gone. No longer does a
Godzilla-sized Marilyn Monroe entice travelers to a motel. The Ye Olde
Lantern sign no longer lures Tucson foodies to one of the area's
fanciest restaurants in its day. Some have been destroyed. Others have
been snapped up by collectors or hawked on eBay.