Tucson Signs (page 2)

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Tropicana Motor Hotel
Tucson, AZ
The Tropicana Motor Hotel sign was built in 1960. The motel was demolished in 2004 and the sign was nearly scrapped. The sign was restored in 2011 and is part of the Neon Art Walk on Drachman St. This collection of restored signs also includes the Magic Carpet Golf, Arizonan Motel, and Medina's Sporting Goods signs described below. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Magic Carpet Golf
Tucson, AZ
The Magic Carpet Golf sign originally stood at a mini golf course. The sign was designed by Lee Koplin and built in 1971. The sign originally had chasing and flashing bulbs. It was later updated with neon. The genie was inspired by the Joyva Candy logo. Magic Carpet Golf closed in 2008 and the sign was put in storage. It was restored in 2012 and is part of the Neon Art Walk. [map]

Arizonan Motel
Tucson, AZ
The first photo above of the Arizonan Motel is from 2004. The sign was removed in 2010. In 2012, it was restored and installed at the Neon Art Walk. The sign originally advertised for the Canyon State Motor Lodge when it was built in 1951. The sign was reworked in the 1970s when the name was changed to the Arizonan Motel. During the sign's restoration, both identities were recreated on opposite faces of the sign. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Medina's Sporting Goods
Tucson, AZ
The Medina's Sporting Goods sign was built in 1956 and installed on the store's roof. The building was demolished in 2009 and the sign was saved. It was restored in 2011 and is part of the Neon Art Walk. For more, see this website. [map]

Mario's Pizza
Tucson, AZ
Mario's Pizza opened in 1958 as Marco's Pizza. This sign was installed then. Around 1979, the name was changed to Mario's and the single letter on the sign was changed. The neon had been missing for many years until 2018 when the sign was completely restored. The panels are outlined with chasing bulbs. For more, see this website. [map]

Sparkle Cleaners
Tucson, AZ
2012: 2017:
The Sparkle Cleaners building and sign are from 1955 when this business was known as the Wash Well Drive-in Cleaners. Sparkle Cleaners moved here in 1967. In 2013, the sign was restored and relit. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Empire Foods
Tucson, AZ
2012: 2017:

Empire Laundry & Buffet Bar


The Empire Foods supermarket sign is from 1933. It originally advertised for Joe W. Tang's Market. It became Empire Foods around 1957. The Empire Foods, Empire Laundry, and Buffet Bar signs were restored and relit in 2014. The plastic burger sign is hung inside Empire Foods. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, and 4. [map]

Caruso's Restaurant
Tucson, AZ
2012: 2017:
Caruso's Restaurant was established in 1938. This sign is believed to be from the early 1950s. In recent years, the sign's neon was only partially lit and the paint was peeling badly. The sign was restored in 2013. A grant from the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association covered about one-sixth of the cost. Due to city regulations, the sign had to be repaired on-site. The sign is about 15 feet tall and is lit with the original orange, cream, white, red, green and peach neon. The chef's hand raises a forkful of spaghetti in two-part animation. In 2023, the sign came loose from its supports. It is now being repainted and the neon restored at Cook & Company. [map]

Bay Horse Tavern
Tucson, AZ
Henry Electric
Tucson, AZ
El Con Mall
Tucson, AZ
The Bay Horse Tavern sign is from 1960. It had neon originally. It was repainted sometime after 2009. [map]

Henry Electric was established in 1935. The top part of this sign was built in 1925 when it advertised for Lester Pepper Grocery. The sign most likely had neon originally. By 2002, the building had been converted into the Henry Electric Apartments. This photo is from 2012. The sign is now partly obscured by a tree. [map]

El Con Mall sign was built in 1962. It was removed in 1999 and put in storage at the back of the mall. In 2012, the sign was restored and reinstalled. The sign is 45 feet tall including the conquistador's spear. [map]

Silver Saddle
Steak House
Tucson, AZ
Downtown Motor Hotel
Tucson, AZ
Sahara Apartments
Tucson, AZ
The Silver Saddle Steak House sign originally advertised for the Pickwick Inn Coffee Shop. The sign has been here since at least the 1960s. For more, see this website. [map]

The Downtown Motor Hotel opened in 1941. This sign was built around 1953. There was an earlier another sign before this one. In 2016, the motel was demolished and replaced with an apartment building. The sign and office below it were kept and restored. The AAA logo and "Air Conditioned" text were kept on the sign's main panel. The small white plastic panels were changed from "Telephones" and "Television" to the words "Leasing Office" and the address. For more, see this website. [map]

The Sahara Apartments was built as the Tidelands Motor Inn in 1960. This sign is from then. The letters on the sign were replaced in 1975 when the motel became the Sahara Motor Inn. In 2003, the motel was converted into apartments for University of Arizona students. The "Motor Inn" letters were replaced then. For more, see this website. [1965 scan thanks Steve Quintanilla]. [map]

Flamingo Hotel
Tucson, AZ
2012: 2017:
The Flamingo Hotel opened in 1954. This sign was built in 1963. The "Hotel" panels were yellow then. Since at least 2011, the hotel has been part of the Quality Inn chain. By 2015, the "Flamingo" panel had been repainted a dull grey. By 2016, the panel at the very top was replaced with a Quality Inn logo. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. [map]

Tucson Inn
Tucson, AZ
The Tucson Inn was designed by Anne Jackson Rysdale in 1952 and completed in 1953. By the mid-1950s, the porte cochere with this approximately 45-foot-tall sign was added to the building. The sign may have been built by the Electrical Products Corporation. The giant arrow originally pointed at a readerboard. The photos above are from 2012. The motel closed in 2016 and was likely going to be demolished. However, in 2018, Pima Community College bought the building. The sign was restored in 2022 and a relighting ceremony was held. The restoration was done by Fluoresco Services and Jude Cook of Cook & Company Sign Makers. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Quail Inn
Tucson, AZ
Ghost Ranch Lodge & Restaurant
Tucson, AZ
Triple T Truckstop
Tucson, AZ
International Airport
Tucson, AZ
The Quail Inn was built in 1936 as the De Luxe Motel. The vacancy sign is probably from then. After World War II, the name was changed to the Starline Motel. This sign was built then. At some point it was adapted when the name changed to the Quail Inn. For more, see this website. [map]

The Ghost Ranch Lodge & Restaurant was built in 1941. This sign was built in 1952. The cow skull feature was designed by Georgia O'Keefe. The word "Restaurant" was added to the sign after 1958. The sign was restored in 2010. The complex is now used for senior housing. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Triple T Truckstop opened in 1954. Triple T stood for Tucson Truck Terminal. The buisness moved to this location in 1966. There was a smaller sign there then, with an Enco gas station sign above it. This sign was there by 1971. For more, see this website. [map]

The Tucson International Airport was built in 1958 as the Tucson Municipal Airport. This control tower sign is from then. The letters are 10 feet tall. For more, see this website. [map]

Thunderbird Curios
Tucson, AZ
Sue's Fish & Chips
Tucson, AZ
Valencia Market
Tucson, AZ
Grant-Stone Shopping Center [gone]
Tucson, AZ
The Thunderbird Curios shop was located downtown next door to the Fox Theatre. This sign was built in 1937. I don't know when it was removed but I don't believe it was up in the mid-1960s. The sign was restored in 2015 by the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation's Neon Sign Project. The black panels are original. The sign is on display inside the Joel D. Valdez Main Library. For more, see this website.

Sue's Fish & Chips started out with a trailer in 1952. They opened a restaurant about a year later. This sign might be from then. [map]

The Valencia Market sign appeared to be from the 1940s or 1950s. Around 2019, a neon-less replica sign was installed. The original sign is at the Ignite Sign Art Museum (see below). [map]

The Grant-Stone Shopping Center sign is from 1961. The sign was removed in 2014. It was too expensive for the owners to restore. It is now being restored at the Ignite Sign Art Museum (see below) and will probably be installed at another location eventually. For more, see this website.

Ignite Sign Art Museum
Tucson, AZ
The Ignite Sign Art Museum opened in 2018. These photos were taken as preparations were being made. There are vintage and contemporary signs on display. There are also small versions of classic Tucson signs for sale (see bottom row of photos above). For more, see this website. [map]

More Tucson Signs:
Casa Linda Motel
Golden Pin Lanes
Hotel Congress
Linger Longer Court [vintage; gone]
Pueblo Hotel & Apartments
Reilly Funeral Home
San Carlos Apartments
Vince's Restaurant [vintage; gone]
Wallace's Cowboy Outfitters

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