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Historic Roof Signs Part of 'Visual Landscape' Marred by Modern Ads

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Signage on buildings and along thoroughfares has evolved, as has the move to prohibit them in recent months. But the origin of the roof sign in Los Angeles reflects one aspect of our rich local history that runs the risk of being elbowed out by the more bully-like presence of neon-lit ads that now top buildings all over the city.

The website for the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight has a brief look at the issue, and prompts readers to consider the history of the signs and the threat posed upon them:

And exactly why should we care? Because numerous buildings, not only in Hollywood but in midtown and other, older areas of the city, have these often ornate, rooftop signs and many persons interested in historic preservation are concerned about them getting caught up in the new, more stringent sign regulations now under discussion by the city council.

Specifically, the post examines a neon sign promoting a brand of liquor that grew out of the conversion of the previous sign on top of the Bank of Hollywood Building, and how its owners consider the sign "iconic." But one ad man's iconography is a preservationist's blight: "What is not debatable is that the sign is part of an ongoing assault on the visual landscape of the community, and an affront to the idea of historic preservation.Here are a few historic building signs as captured by some of the contributors to our LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr.