Restoration of Meadow Gold sign completed March 9, 2007Posted by Ron Warnick in Preservation, Signs.
OK, the refurbishing of the historic Meadow Gold sign on Route 66 in Tulsa isn’t 100 percent done. After all, the sign still has to be re-erected at its new site at 11th Street (Route 66) and Quaker Avenue.
But the repairs on the massive letters and new neon tubing were recently finished by Claude Neon Federal Signs of Tulsa, which carefully dismantled the sign from its original location at 11th and Lewis Avenue (shown right) nearly three years ago. It was hoped the sign would be renovated there, but a car dealership insisted it be removed despite the pleas of preservationists. Ironically, the dealership moved to a suburb barely a year later.
Brad Nickson, a member of the Route 66 Committee of Vision 2025, informed me last week that restoration of the sign’s letters and neon had been completed. All that remains are a few minor technicalities before construction of the sign’s platform begins. It is hoped that starts later this year.
Nickson said the original metal-bar structure that held the Meadow Gold sign had to be replaced because it was not up to code. Officials are confident the redesigned, new metal structure won’t affect the Meadow Gold’s historic status. And I’d sure hate to see the sign to come crashing down during a thunderstorm because of purist demands to re-erect a rickety, 60-plus-year-old metal framework.
Ricky Jaubert, shipping and receiving manager at Claude Neon, was kind enough to show us where pieces of the restored Meadow Gold sign are stored. Here are the spiffed-up “Meadow Gold” letters:
We measured the big “G” at six feet tall. Jaubert says the letters weigh between 100 and 200 pounds apiece.
The glass-looking objects on the letters are new
electrodes insulators for the neon tubing.
Here are pieces of the “Milk, Ice Cream” portion of the sign:
Here is the “Beatrice Foods Co.” portion:
Despite the Meadow Gold sign being more than 60 years old, its porcelain finish allowed it to age very little. Most of the work wasn’t cosmetic, but internal — replacing transformers, electrodes and the like.
There originally was a clock on the top of the Meadow Gold sign, but it has been gone for many years. That will be eventually replaced, too, as money becomes available.
(Photos by Emily Priddy, who also has a post about this.)