Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Yahoo! It's actually happening!

Why is Kahnie the pig so happy?

Thanks to a very generous anonymous gift to the museum’s Capital Fund, we now anticipate completing renovations of our permanent home in January 2012. 
The 19,300 sq. ft. facility is about 450% larger than the museum’s current home at Essex Studios in the Walnut Hills area of Cincinnati.  The historic building will allow us to consolidate all operations under one roof, bringing together our extensive collection of historically significant acquisitions. The collection includes a photo archive filled with nearly 1200 vintage black-and-white prints and transparencies, as well as a substantial library of more than 800 sign-related books and catalogs.
Signs are lining up in anticipation of moving into their forever home
Workers kick up the dust as
they begin the demo phase
The main area of the museum -- designated “Signs on Main Street”-- focuses on a street scene characterized by life-size storefronts stretching along and facing in towards a “town square.”  The three-dimensional, period storefronts serve as a backdrop for a range of historic signs, and the windows of the storefronts showcase smaller signs and sign-related objects.  

The 28-ft. high ceilings of the town square area of “Signs on Main Street” serve to display some of the museum’s larger signs.  Among these are some great American icons including a 1963 Speedee McDonald’s sign and a 1958 Howard Johnson’s sign.  Another especially exciting addition will be a working neon shop where museum visitors can watch neon production first-hand. 

We are also planning an events area that will enable the us to transform the museum into an entertainment venue with the latitude to play host to meetings, seminars, and receptions.  A full-scale (16 x 50-ft.) Mail Pouch barn wall sign, rescued from Lanesville, IN, will serve as the backdrop for such activities.
We are very excited about moving forward on this MAJOR step for the museum and can't wait to share the grand opening of your American Sign Museum. We hope you're excited too! 

But while the gift secures the completion of the general construction, we must raise an additional $200,000 for:
  • designing, fabricating, and installing the new exhibits
  • restoring many signs that have been waiting in the wings for their big debut
  • moving EVERYTHING from our current location
  • adding the needed technology and furnishings to complete the museum
If you have not supported the museum in the past, there has never been a better time to do so.  There are many ways to join in the excitement and support the museum:
  • make your mark (literally) with your personal message that will be a part of the museum forever by purchasing a paver or painting a panel that will line the entrance floor and lobby wall, respectively. 
  • restore a sign through our Adopt a Sign program: Sponsor the restoration of a specific sign or even restore a sign in your own shop.   
  • become a member.
To all of you who have supported the museum to date, our sincere thanks.  You can be proud for the part you’ve played in making it all come together.  To those of you who are waiting for the chance, there’s still time.  Become a member online or contact me at 513-258-4020 or

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