New Orleans, Louisiana – Canal Street Walgreens Neon Sign

11 Aug

The Neon Sign on Walgreens at 900 Canal Street in New Orleans Dates Back to 1938

Walgreens, located at 900 Canal Street in New Orleans, has applied to the CBD Historic District Landmarks Commission to replace its existing neon sign with an LED sign of the same design. The Architectural Review Committee will review this proposal on August 17th.

The existing neon sign is part of the original store which was opened in 1938. The store was welcomed to New Orleans by other businesses that lauded their support in the local newspaper The Times Picayune.

I don’t think that anyone will disagree that the unique store and the unique sign have become New Orleans Landmarks and even a part of the city’s culture.  The store that would become an icon in New Orleans was also the 500th store opened by the national Walgreens chain.

I can only imagine how pretty Canal Street would be if all the neon signs that were once on Canal Street were still there.  What lights that are there become magical at night, especially after a rain when the wet streets reflect the beautiful lights back up into the eyes.  Walgreens is probably the best at producing beautiful reflections.  I like the Palace Restaurant Sign too but that is of a different type.

I am not qualified to make a recommendation on what would be the best thing for the city and for Walgreens to do regarding the lighting.  My thoughts are that anything that would change the cultural significance that the sign has created should not be attempted.  If you have thoughts on the request or need more information you can let the Landmarks Commission know or perhaps contact the Preservation Resource Center for New Orleans.  Their website is http://www.prcno.org/.

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4 Responses to “New Orleans, Louisiana – Canal Street Walgreens Neon Sign”

  1. Laurie Wiegler August 11, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    Robert, what a stunning shot of a remarkable old landmark in NOLA. I am sorry I didn’t know to see this this weekend! I am going to follow your link and strongly support the preservation of New Orleans landmarks. Great job!

    • rdvernon August 11, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

      Thank you Laurie and thanks for your interest. You certainly are in a good position to inform others about some of these things. I had wanted to wait later to take a photo but I tripped in a crater on Baronnne shortly after this and smashed the only lens I brought with me. Will have to make the journey again – happily so!

  2. Frances D Boyd September 4, 2010 at 3:39 am #

    I do hope it remains there…your photo shows it’s colors so nicely.

    • rdvernon September 7, 2010 at 3:55 am #

      Hello Franny. The first action by the planning commission was to maintain the neon. Will see how it works out.

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