Hillcrest – Reviving a Downtown Icon
Historic neighborhood sign gets updated with Plexineon
For more than 70 years, a large, neon sign has served as a proud beacon for the San Diego neighborhood of Hillcrest. Prominently stretching across a main thoroughfare, it spells out “Hillcrest” and serves as a backdrop for an annual summer festival.
The original sign was presented to the community in 1940 as a gift from female shopkeepers, and it was refurbished in 1984. But it was recently retired and replaced by a replica: a new sign created with iLight Plexineon White Series fixtures. The result is a sign that looks like yesteryear, while offering all the benefits of innovative LED technology.
The Design Challenge
The key benefit is durability. The original neon sign was prone to damage, and repairs were costly as well as inconvenient — causing traffic disruption each time the sign required a fix.
“Inevitably a truck or car with a tall antennae would pass under and take out a unit,” says Terry Kitaen, Senior Account Executive at Signtech Electrical Advertising, Inc., the company that performed the repairs.
Kitaen suggested a solution: duplicating Hillcrest’s time-honored treasure with a new sign offering the bright, nostalgic glow of neon, without the fragility. For the job, he had the perfect product in mind. Kitaen took a sample of Plexineon to a meeting with the Hillcrest neighborhood association. “I pounded a desk with it over and over to show how durable it is,” he says. “They loved it.”
“The quality is beautiful. If you didn’t know we replaced the old sign, you would never guess.” – Terry Kitaen, Senior Account Executive, Signtech Electrical Advertising, Inc
The Plexineon Advantage
With the project go-ahead, Signtech worked closely with iLight to ensure the new sign would be a worthy successor to its predecessor. “They’re good people,” Kitaen says of the iLight team. “They treated us really well.”
“The quality is beautiful. If you didn’t know we replaced the old sign, you would never guess.” – Terry Kitaen, Senior Account Executive Signtech Electrical Advertising, Inc.
The new sign was ready in time to be unveiled at the neighborhood festival. Kitaen says it looks just as he hoped, with White Plexineon outlining each letter. Now the sign with a rich past also has a bright future.
San Diego, CA
Signtech Electrical Advertising, Inc.
Plexineon White 1X 6500 Series
200 LF (61 m)
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