The vertical sign however, which once beamed down 60th Street all the way to Central Park, has been left behind. In my research for the neon book, I found that the vertical neon is actually the older of the two signs, installed in 1950. It's a sad sight to behold now.
The bar's ownership didn't reply to an e-mailed query in time for this post, but word on the street is that they were daunted by the high cost of properly dismounting and restoring the old sign, which was fully functional up until the place closed in December 2014. Current zoning codes would likely also restrict them from installing it over their new storefront at 2nd Ave. and 60th Street.
February, 2006. (T. Rinaldi)
Still, I would suggest that the old sign can and should be saved. Other bars have installed signs like this indoors as decor (McHale's neon on display at Emmett O'Lunney's, for one).
Is this perhaps the stuff of a neon kickstarter?
September 2014. (Photo by Nick McManus / Impossible Project Prints)
• A more comprehensive Subway Inn update at Jeremiah's Vanishing New York. Don't miss this great short film by Zagat, featuring the Subway Inn and the struggle of small independent businesses to stay afloat in today's New York.
• Previous coverage of the Subway Inn story at this blog, here and here.
IN OTHER NEON NEWS:
• "Retro Signs of NYC" via AMNY and Rolando Pujol.
• A new tenant has emerged for the former DiRobertis Pasticerria space in the East Village, via JVNY. The new business pledges to keep much of the historic interior finishes. No word on the neon.
• From the west coast: artist Michael Hayden's neon installation in downtown LA has just been restored and re-lit.
• Also in downtown LA: the storied Clifton's Cafeteria, home to what may be the world's longest continuously-lit neon, is set to re-open after a long rehabilitation.
• When in Orlando, FL, skip the theme parks and visit one of the country's best galleries of preserved neon at the Morse Museum of American Art.
• And finally, two old views from New York's neon heyday from the our friends at the Shorpy blog:
~ A westward view featuring the Hotel Dixie on 43rd Street, today's glamorous Hotel Carter, whose neon still survives. Note too the West 43rd Street Garage neon partially at right in the photo, also still extant - just about the last vintage neon near Times Square.
~ A streamlined trifecta of neon, terrazzo and stainless converge in this 1950 view of an un-located NYC newsstand.
SPECIAL THANKS to Eric Evavold of the Museum of Neon Art and to Kyle Supley for some of the links above.