They say cats have nine lives and, as it turns out, so do signs.
Not all signs are created from scratch and not all see the scrapyard. All over the world, and especially here in Las Vegas, there are many signs that have seen multiple lives. The Neon Museum is filled with good examples of repurposed signage. Here are a few highlights from the collection.
Caesars Palace added an impressive pylon sign to its property when it opened in 1966. The sign included white and blue Greek-style letters with gold Roman Centurion figures on a blue background and a Greek Key design. In the photo on the left, you can see the key design in the middle of the sign between the words “Caesars” and “Palace.” These design elements were replaced in the late 1980s with the profile of Caesar, a faux marble design, gold trim, and red lettering. Some of the original blue and white Greek Key design remains underneath the gold trim.
Silver Bell/Mon Bel Ami
The Silver Bell Wedding Chapel opened in 1958 and later became Mon Bel Ami in 2003 after the Silver Bell suffered two fires. Mon Bel Ami opted to repurpose the Silver Bell’s sign only making only a few alterations to make it the sign their own. If you are in the Neon Boneyard, you can still see the letters "SB" painted on the center bells of the sign. It was covered only with a thin coat of white paint. Mon Bel Ami commissioned a new sign and donated the original to the Neon Museum. The picture on the left is of the sign c. 1993 and the picture on the right is of the sign shortly after it was delivered to the Neon Boneyard in 2005.
Rancho Anita/Sulinda Inn
The Sulinda Inn originally opened c. 1953 and neighbored the Rancho Anita Motel on Las Vegas Blvd. At some point in the late 1980s or early 1990s, the Sulinda took over the Rancho Anita sign and made it their own. These two photos of the signs are from the Anita Rosenberg Collection. Note that the lettering for the property name changed along with the removal of the stars and a slight color change. The "Motel" letters and the cactus stayed during the changeover. The Rancho Anita photo was taken in February 1988 and the Sulinda Inn photo in 1994. The midcentury style cabinet and cactus are now housed in the Neon Boneyard.