Save the Signs helps Denver neighborhoods like Congress Park retain our historical works of art!
Part of the charm of Congress Park is Colfax Avenue. Running along the north side of our neighborhood, Route 40 has an incredible history. During the 1950’s Colfax was THE way for westward travelers to reach the mountains. As people drove America’s longest avenue, Denver was a customary pit stop.
Colfax Avenue was a cornerstone of our city’s tourism. To stand out from the crowd of restaurants and hotels which filled the route, neon signs became a critical advertising strategy. You can imagine during an age where road trips were a new, adventurous way to see America, drivers enjoyed being greeted by the lights of these highly designed signs. Businesses worked to “one-up” each other with better-crafted, more clever signs.
After I-70 offered a bypass around the city, the once-vibrant motels on Colfax turned into seedy establishments. And one by one the neon signs were disappearing from the landscape.
As the city focuses on revitalizing Colfax, a group was formed called Save the Signs. These Denver-ites believes the neon signs represent an important era in our history. So as neighborhoods along Colfax like Congress Park are reurbanizing, the organization is convincing developers the signs are works of art worth saving. Save the Signs is working alongside business owners to also repair these neon treasures (as you can imagine refurbishing vintage signs are not cheap).
You can browse the signs on Save the Sign’s Facebook business page.
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