PDX Neon is dedicated to protecting endangered historic neon signs across the city of Portland, Oregon.
Portland's public collection of vintage neon signs is beautiful, fun, culturally significant, and a huge part of what makes our city special. Historic neon is as important to preserve in place as significant examples of architecture, public art, and other important landmarks. Neon signs are cultural artifacts that serve not only the businesses they adorn, but signify life, connection to the past, and uniqueness of place for a city’s inhabitants and visitors. We seek to raise awareness of this irreplaceable value, and to make legislative change at the municipal level for neon sign protection.
Read our complete Manifesto and Why Neon is Better.
Resources for saving neon signs in Portland
Prosper Portland PIP Grant
A storefront improvement grant, the only local funding available for neon sign restoration and repair.
Portland Area Sign Shops
If a neon sign appears to be in danger of demolition, it might help to contact local neon shops and find out if any are willing to help.
"Neon, the most dynamic and unknown of American folk arts."
— Rudi Stern, neon artist, author,
founder Let There Be Neon, New York, N.Y.
“Neon will pretty much last until you break it... It’s not like a light bulb, or a fluorescent tube. It doesn’t have a life span.”
— neon bender Sharon Keshishian, Austin, Texas (from a Dec 2017 Curbed article)
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PDX Neon was founded by graphic designer Kate Widdows and Neon Gods' Michael Mintz. They met at the 2018 Neon Speaks Festival & Symposium in San Francisco, an event that Kate co-produces with San Francisco Neon. Michael has been working with neon for 30 years in the Bay Area and in Portland. Kate leads neon walking tours of Portland as part of the Electric Letterland project, and created the Neon Map + Poster, an extraordinary graphic inventory of Portland's best neon signs. Together they have saved several signs from the dust bin of history.