L.A. & Orange County Weekend

I took a little break from the South Dakota photos and went down to the L.A. area last weekend. I wanted to attend the NeonSpeaks Curiosity Lounge event at MONA (the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale) and grab some photos of other things.

The Curiosity Lounge was fun. Lots of neon-loving friends from all over the country came. Chris Raley came down from Fresno with a collection of his miniature sign replicas. Dydia DeLyser & Paul Greenstein brought some new and old things — including this neon salesman’s suitcase:

Will Durham from Reno brought his Vegas Vic replica (yes, the winking eye and cigarette are animated):

In addition to the sign stuff, as promised, there was pie — tiny pies and donuts in the sign garden. That’s Randall Ann Homan on the left, one of the NeonSpeaks organizers who came down from San Francisco with hubby Al Barna:

On to some other things. I believe this sign in Van Nuys was installed around 2014 for a preschool. The panels have been missing since around 2019:

The wrong time of day for this one — but this Thrifty Drug terrazzo is in downtown L.A.:

This Giant RV sign in Downey originally advertised for a GEMCO department store:

This sign in Studio City originally advertised for Joe Kirkwood Lanes which opened in 1958. The business is now the PINZ Entertainment Center:

This mid-century car wash in L.A. looks like it’s being demolished. The sign is still there. Shoot it while you can since it might not be around much longer:

MONA recently acquired a few signs which had been languishing for decades in Anaheim’s city storage. The Sandman Motel sign is now at the museum’s storage facility in Pomona:

This sign is on the side of a building in West Hollywood. A true oldie with add-on letters, a beaded tin border, and opal glass letters at the bottom:

This new replica sign is in downtown L.A. I’ll spare you the long, sketchy story… and where the original is now, no one is saying. While painted aluminum is no substitute for porcelain enamel, sure, it’s better than a plastic box sign. Fingers crossed that the sign mounted on the building is really being restored and won’t also turn up just as a “reasonable facsimile”:

Here’s a cutie sign at Master Auto Repair in Pomona. At first, I thought it might be a “Happy Bear” (alignment bear) sign but the panels are not right. For example, those always have the bear’s but sticking out to one side:

This Masonic Lodge sign is in Redlands:

Let’s move on to some statues. This elephant is installed behind the Blue Room in Burbank. The gun is a reference to mass-shootings and the ring represents the Circle of Life:

This rooftop rabbit is at the Bunny Museum in Altadena:

This bronze sculpture of Cesar Chavez and farmworkers is in Riverside:

This bas relief, Art Deco detail is at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in Pasadena:

Let’s move on to some buildings. This prefabricated, metal gas station in Eagle Rock is from 1919. It seems doomed right now behind the tarped fence. A demo permit has been issued, however, local preservationists are still fighting the good fight:

This building in Santa Ana looked like this in 1931:

The building had been covered with this crappy siding since 1967:

Recently, during redevelopment of the building to the right, the original Art Deco details were revealed when the siding was removed. Supposedly, the facade will be restored to the original look although I think there will be a megastructure above and behind it:

Here’s a nice mid-century detail from the First Presbyterian Church in Redlands:

An Art Deco detail from the former Aero Industries Technical Institute in Glendale:

And lastly — this building from Lake Elsinore looks older but it’s only from 2014. The cute mortar on the roof, symbolizing a drug store mortar and pestle, nearly didn’t get built. The planning commission hated it and thought it was garish and goofy “like a giant donut.” But it did get built with a clause that if the pharmacy leaves, it has to be removed:

More mortar and pestle signs at my website here:


Back to South Dakota photos in the next post.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

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