The Greenway is getting lit up with a taste of nostalgia.
Even if we can no longer have pizza at the North End’s European Restaurant or fried chicken from Fontaine’s in West Roxbury, the fondly remembered institutions‘ neon signage has made a return to downtown Boston. As part of a public art project called GLOW, the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy is reviving eight signs from mid-1900s Massachusetts businesses and installed them amid the park’s permanent Light Blades between State and India streets.
“For a long while they were regarded as an eyesore” Dave Waller, the Malden collector who owns the signs, said in a statement. “But now people really seem to enjoy their warm glow again.”
Once landmarks in their communities changed by urban renewal, shifting demographics, and gentrification, the vintage neon signs are getting a second act.
“In placing these signs together in a contemporary urban park in Boston, we’re inviting the public to reinterpret these signs and reconsider how neon, as well as other kinds of light, can define public space,” Lucas Cowan, the Greenway’s public art curator, said.
The Greenway put up seven of the eight signs earlier this month and installed the actual neon lights this week. The signs will be lit daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Here’s a look at each one: