ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 19, 2022) — Anaheim has preserved four mid-century neon signs with a donation to the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale.
The city donated the signs that once advertised motels and a liquor store and market dating back to the heyday of neon signs in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.
Neon signs were a big part of Anaheim’s postwar development, led in part by the opening of Disneyland in 1955 and what’s known as Googie architecture inspired by the Space Age and other mid-century design trends.
Today, you can still an Anaheim icon of neon, Googie architecture at Linbrook Bowl on Brookhurst Street and Lincoln Avenue in west Anaheim.
The city of Anaheim donated the four signs to the Museum of Neon Art to preserve part of the city’s architectural history.
In many cases, the motels restaurants and other businesses that pioneered neon signs in our city outlived their usefulness, and, in the case of Beach Boulevard and other areas, even became nuisances for nearby residents and businesses.
The signs donated:
- Silver Moon Motel: a large blue and red sign with a crescent moon that was saved from the 2002 demolition of the Beach Boulevard motel, which had outlived its usefulness as lodging and today is part of a site set for redevelopment as housing, including affordable housing, with some retail
- Sandman Motel: a large blue sign for the former motel, which was demolished in 2018 and replaced by El Verano affordable apartments for seniors
- Americana Motel: a large, red sign saved from the former Beach Boulevard motel that was demolished in 2021 and is part of a site set for redevelopment as housing, including affordable housing, with some retail
- 5 Points Liquor Market: a blue and red sign with a directional arrow from the former liquor store and market along Lincoln Avenue near the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway.
The signs are now in the Museum of Neon Art’s Pomona warehouse. The museum plans to start hosting tours of the warehouse in 2023.
Also at the warehouse is the La Palma Chicken Pie shop sign, which was a staple along Euclid Street south of La Palma Avenue for decades.
The Museum of Neon Art’s gallery is in Glendale and host signs and historic photos from Anaheim and across Southern California.
You can see more about the museum here.