Anaheim has preserved four mid-century neon signs with a donation to the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale.
The signs once advertised motels and a liquor store dating back to the heyday of neon signs in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.
Neon signs were a big part of Anaheim’s postwar development, led in part by the opening of Disneyland in 1955 and what’s known as Googie architecture inspired by the Space Age and other mid-century design trends.
Today, you can still see an Anaheim icon of neon and Googie architecture at Linbrook Bowling Center on Brookhurst Street and Lincoln Avenue in west Anaheim.
The city of Anaheim donated the preserved signs to the Museum of Neon Art to save part of our architectural history.
In many cases, the motels, restaurants and other businesses that pioneered neon signs in our city outlived their usefulness, and, in the case of Beach Boulevard and other areas, became nuisances for nearby residents and businesses.
The donated signs:
Silver Moon Motel: saved from the 2002 demolition of the Beach Boulevard motel, which had outlived its usefulness as lodging and today is set for redevelopment as housing, including affordable housing, with some retail.
Sandman Motel: saved from a motel once at Lincoln Avenue near East Street, demolished in 2018 and replaced by El Verano affordable apartments for seniors.
Americana Motel: saved from the former Beach Boulevard motel that was demolished in 2021 and is set for redevelopment as housing, including affordable housing, with some retail.
5 Points Liquor Market: saved from the former liquor store and market along Lincoln Avenue near the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway that went out of business several years ago.
The signs are now in the Museum of Neon Art’s Pomona warehouse. The museum plans to start hosting tours of the warehouse in 2023.
Also at the warehouse is the La Palma Chicken Pie Shop sign, which was a staple for decades along Euclid Street south of La Palma Avenue.
The Museum of Neon Art’s gallery is in Glendale and hosts other signs and historic photos from Anaheim and across Southern California. You can learn more here.