Casey Cornett inadvertently reminded me today to take note of another effort underway in Tulsa – lifting of a 20-year ban on rooftop signs downtown. Tulsans have a few great ones still standing that survived the ban. The Meadow Gold Milk sign is considered a Route 66 icon. And personally I’m jealous that the Mayo sign survived atop the Mayo Hotel while the Skirvin sign disappeared from the top of our grand old hotel long ago.
We have one really great rooftop sign – the classic cursive Colcord sign. But it its survival is no accident. Back in 1999, former Oklahoman writer Judy Kuhlman wrote about the efforts of artisan Travis Griffin to bring the sign back to life after seeing it fade to darkness for several years. He approached the building’s owners and gave them a deal where he said he “didn’t make much.”
Maybe not, Mr. Griffin, but thanks for your contribution to the city. We’re still enjoying it today. But there are so few such rooftop signs left in downtown Oklahoma City that I’ve got to wonder if there isn’t a chance for us to follow Tulsa’s lead (are you seeing a theme here folks?). As with my last post on the parking meter enforcement, I’m not advocating a position either way here – simply posing the question.
Now, as to Casey’s question, via Twitter. He asked why the Plaza Court sign is so big.
The answer, my friend Casey, is a matter of history. And you know just how much of a history geek I am. So I’m pleased to show off these old photos from the Plaza Court when it was the suburban threat to downtown retail (ironic, isn’t it?).