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Fresno Signs (page 1)

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Welcome Arch
Fresno, CA
La Fiesta Nightclub
Fresno, CA
Tecolote Cafe
Fresno, CA
The original Welcome Arch in Fresno was built in 1917. Around 1925, it was damaged in a fire and demolished. This arch replaced it around 1929. It spans Van Ness Street which used to be the main route into town from the south. The sign was restored in 1979 and the words "Best Little City in the U.S.A." were added at that time. For more, see this website. [map]

The La Fiesta Nightclub has been here since at least 1949. Around 2008, the neon was removed from the text part of the sign. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Tecolote Cafe is closed but this sign remains. It was probably built in the 1940s or 1950s. [map]

Ashlan Park Shopping Center
Fresno, CA
Levitz Furniture
Fresno, CA
The Ashlan Park Shopping Center was built from 1961-1965. I believe this sign was installed when the shopping center opened in 1961. The sign had some sort of bulb-studded sputnik on top originally. When the strip mall was remodeled in the 1990s, that sputnik was removed. I have been unable to find a photo of what the sign looked like originally. These photos are from 2013. By 2015, the panels had been painted red. [map]

This Levitz Furniture sign dates from around 1967. The furniture store chain folded in 2008 and I believe all of these signs have been removed. At this location, this sign on the building and the other pole sign were adapted by the Celebration Christian Church. [first photo thanks Daniel F.] [map]

Sparky
Electronics [gone]
Fresno, CA
Leilani Restaurant [gone]
Fresno, CA
Luau Restaurant
Fresno, CA
Sparky Electronics opened in 1963 and this sign appears to be from then. In 2006, the store moved and this sign was removed. As of 2013, the sign is still in storage. The owner hopes to restore the sign and reinstall it someday. In 2016, there was talk of restoring the sign. For more, see this website. [2006 photo thanks Daniel F.]

The Leilani Restaurant opened in the late 1950s and closed in 2005. The neon once extended down the trunk of the palm tree. The first photo above was taken in 2006, just before the Dynasty restaurant moved in, painted the entire sign black, and added the new name in neon. When the Galaxy restaurant was here, the sign was repainted green. The second photo is from 2013. By 2014, the building had been demolished. By 2015, the sign was gone. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [first photo thanks Daniel F.]

The Luau Restaurant opened in the late 1950s. The Luau was the sister restaurant to the Leilani. The first photo above is from 2008. In 2013, the Luau closed and the restaurant became the Fresno New China. The sign was significantly altered at that point. The second photo is from 2013. For more, see this website. [map]

Tokyo Garden
Fresno, CA
The Tokyo Garden opened in the late 1950s. These signs appear to be from then. [map]

Big Star Motel
Fresno, CA
Guarantee
Savings Bank
Fresno, CA
Happy Liquor Store
Fresno, CA
The Big Star Motel was constructed in 1938 as an office complex and was remodeled as a motel in 1955. This sign is probably from then. For more, see this website. [map]

The Guarantee Savings Bank sign is on installed on the roof of the Mattei Building which was built in 1921. Guarantee Savings Bank moved in as the ground floor tenant in 1961 and installed this giant weather beacon on the roof. The giant "G" had three different neon colors that changed according to the weather forecast. Green meant cooler, white meant no change, and red meant warmer. If the "G" was flashing, it meant rain. In 1994, the sign went dark when the building's owner found it too costly to operate. In 2003, power was restored to the sign and it was lit solid white. However, I don't think it is still lit now. For more weather beacon signs, see this website. [map]

The Happy Liquor Store has been closed for years but this sign remains. [map]

Gables Motel
Fresno, CA
The Gables Motel replaced its original sign with these most likely in the 1950s. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

U Save Liquor [gone]
Clovis Ave.
Fresno, CA
U Save Liquor
Jensen Ave.
Fresno, CA
U Save Liquor
Tulare Ave.
Fresno, CA
Belmont U Save Liquor
Fresno, CA
These U Save Liquor stores were part of a chain with about 50 locations in northern California. There are similar signs at other locations in Merced, CA, Pacifica, CA, Redwood City, CA, San Jose, CA, and Vacaville, CA.

The photo of the Clovis Ave. sign is from 2013. By 2015, the sign was gone.

The Jensen Ave. location is now called Cavalier Liquor. The sign is still there. [map]

[Tulare map]

The first photo of the Belmont location's sign was taken in 2014. As shown in the second photo from 2015, the sign was altered. The neon was removed and the sign was painted. Backlit plastic letters were added. For more, see this website. [map]

Ayres Motel
Fresno, CA
The Ayres Motel signs are probably from the 1950s. These photos are from 2013. By 2015, the sign on the left was still there but the sign on the right was gone. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Master
Radiator Works
Fresno, CA
Central Valley Trailer Repair
Fresno, CA
Lamp Post
Fresno, CA
Master Radiator Works was established in 1928. I don't know how old this radiator-shaped sign is. It could be pre-1950s. [map]

This Central Valley Trailer Repair sign appears to have had neon originally. The Great Dane Trailer logo must have been a later addition. [map]

The Lamp Post was originally Ted's Lamp Post but that name on the sign was painted over. In 2010, the sign's neon was removed. The photo above is from 2013. The bar has been closed since 2012. The sign was still there in 2016. For more, see this website. [map]

Eagle Cafe
Fresno, CA
The Eagle Cafe was closed when this photo was taken in 2013. The eagle's animated wings and the clock haven't worked for many years. [map]

Lum's Chop Suey
Fresno, CA
Paradise Center
Fresno, CA
Lum's Chop Suey was established in 1961 and this sign appears to be from then. The restaurant is still open. [map]

The Paradise Center sign is probably from the 1950s or 1960s. One of the yellow plastic balls disappeared sometime between the photos above taken in 2008 and 2013. For more, see this website. [map]

Chase Flower Shop
Fresno, CA
Fresno Motel [gone]
Fresno, CA
Sands Motel
Fresno, CA
The Chase Flower Shop sign appears to be from the 1950s or earlier. For more, see this website. [map]

The Fresno Motel sign was probably from the 1950s or 1960s. In 2016, the sign was removed. The panels with the diver were saved but I do not know where they went. I believe the rest of the sign was scrapped.

The Sands Motel signs appear to be from the 1950s. They have been repainted and the neon removed. I believe this property is on the route of a new high speed rail project. These signs will probably not be around much longer. For more, see this website. [map]

7 Up
Olive Ave.
Fresno, CA
7 Up
Fulton St.
Fresno, CA
Fresno has two old 7 Up neon billboard signs. They were produced by the Hamlin Neon Sign Co. in the 1940s. There were four other 7 Up signs in town which were demolished. The first sign shown above was completely restored in the mid-1990s. The neon bubbles were lit sequentially. It had fallen into disrepair again by the first photo taken in 2008. The neon no longer worked. Sometime after 2011, the sign was repainted and the neon was broken off. The second photo above is from 2013. The second sign shown above is similar to the one in Merced, CA. [Olive map]; [Fulton map]

There are other vintage 7 Up signs in Bakersfield, CA and Portland, OR.

Maxwell Studio [gone]
Fresno, CA
Refrigeration
Supplies Distributor
Fresno, CA
Maxwell Studio was founded in 1890 and is one of the oldest businesses in Fresno. The business had moved but this sign remained at the former location when this photo was taken in 2013. By 2014, the sign was gone. The stick figure photographer held a birdie. For more, see this website.

Refrigeration Supplies Distributor is a chain with 60 locations in nine western states. I don't know if this Fresno sign ever had neon. The first photo above was taken in 2008. The company had updated the sign with a new logo by the time of this second photo from 2013. [map]

The Brig
Fresno, CA
2008: 2013:
The Brig sign is probably from the 1960s. It was restored sometime after 2010. [map]

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