The Neon Museum reilluminated the historic Plaza Hotel & Casino sign during a special lighting ceremony and reception on Wednesday, after which the sign debuted to the public as a permanent addition to the museum’s collection in its Neon Boneyard.
“The Plaza is where Las Vegas was born,” said Aaron Berger, executive director of the Neon Museum. “Its historical value is invaluable and adding its illuminated logo sign to our permanent collection will offer us the opportunity to enhance our tours with stories about the founding of Las Vegas as a railroad town, the flamboyant Rat Pack era, and how the Plaza has evolved over its 50-year history.”
“Last year, the Plaza celebrated its 50th anniversary and I’m glad that the Neon Museum is paying homage to our past,” stated Jonathan Jossel, CEO of the Plaza. “The Neon Museum is a world-class institution that ensures the history of Las Vegas continues to be told. That’s why we donated our sign, and it is exciting to see it relit in the Neon Boneyard.”
Hartlauer Signs refurbished the nearly 40-year-old, 1,500-pound sign that measures 9 feet wide by 18 feet high. The project took more than 100 hours to repair damaged sheet metal and repaint the sign, returning it to the original shape colors. Hartlauer also replaced 576 light bulbs and installed 14 new border neon units around the Plaza letters.
When the Plaza built its South Tower in 1983, Ad-Art and Charles Barnard, the mastermind behind the design of classic Las Vegas signs like Vegas Vickie, Sassy Sally’s, and the Mirage, was contracted to create the signs for the property at 1 Main Street. The Plaza still has the Barnard-designed signs on its building. The one donated to the Neon Museum was located on the Main Street faÃ§ade of the Plaza between its two towers until 2011, when the the hotel-casino underwent a property-wide renovation.
Berger noted that the Plaza sign is the 22nd sign to be refurbished and reilluminated in the museum’s Neon Boneyard. The last sign that was reilluminated was the Moulin Rouge in September 2020.