Support to Save the Finneytown Arby’s Sign Grows

7 March
Arby's Finneytown


We received a call late last week that the Finneytown Arby’s was closing for remodeling – and rebranding -and that community support was strong to save the sign. The sign has become a local icon over the 50 years that it has been in place. Could we help? Thus began the phone calls and emails to rescue it. The folks at Arby’s favor the effort are happy to donate the sign, and several of the museum’s friends have offered to help in getting the sign down in tact; however, takedown, transport, unknown restoration costs, and installation will be costly.  We will need financial help to save this sign.

In preparation for a rally held this past Sunday we added this sign to our adopt a sign program. Show your support by donating online through this program.  We are also always happy to accept checks by mail!

Below is the March 6th Cincinnati Enquirer article about the effort.

arby's 3The future of a lighted cowboy hat sign may be in the hands of a group of Springfield Township residents.

The group is rallying support to save the Arby’s restaurant sign at 8657 Winton Road. The sign is facing demolition when renovations at the restaurant are completed.

“I’m on a mission,” Finneytown Alumni Association Vice President Kim Stephens-Murphy said. “We just want to preserve it.”

A group of community activists met at the restaurant Sunday, March 3, to raise awareness of the sign’s plight.

“We saw an interest on Facebook and there was an online petition to save the sign,” she said. “We want to save the sign.”

Stephens-Murphy contacted both Arby’s representatives and the founder of the American Sign Museum in Camp Washington to see what they could do to preserve the sign.

“It’s one of the classic signs from the ‘50s and ‘60s era of fast food,” said Tod Swormstedt, American Sign Museum founder and director. “We would like to save the sign.”

But he said the venture is very costly and isn’t foolproof.

The sign is 24 feet tall and weighs close to a ton, he said. It was built in three parts and is welded together on the inside. To tear it down, fix the neon and wiring and rebuild the sign at the museum would cost is about $10,000, Swormstedt said.

“We have every intention to preserve it but there are issues with these signs,” he said. “They can look OK on the outside but a lot of times the internal structure is rusted and cannot be saved.”

Senior Vice President of Operations with Restaurant Management Inc. David Raab said Arby’s plans to work with the sign museum to help with some of the costs associated with preserving the sign.

“We’re going to help disassemble the sign,” he said. “We were going to have to pay for it anyway.”

He said he was surprised that people were interested in the sign’s future.

“Frankly, we didn’t think anybody cared about these old signs,” he said. “We’re thrilled and we hope we can save the sign.”

Raab said the restaurant is scheduled to re-open in mid-June..

Donate now to help save the Arby’s sign.


8 Responses to "Support to Save the Finneytown Arby’s Sign Grows"

  1. zan says:

    Is there no hope of negotiating to restore the sign on site? It’s such an icon in the neighborhood; I’d hate to see it go.

  2. […] Details on the drive are posted on their site. […]

  3. American Sign Museum says:

    Greg, It is true, we have another Arby’s sign, but it is just the porcelain faces on the angle-iron frame. All of the wiring, the light sockets, the neon, etc. have been stripped. Plus, the internal steel pipe has been removed. The current sign in play is in working condition, save a few units of neon and the flasher to make the bulbs chase. And it also has the steel pipe for re-installing intact. The Finneytown sign is a much less expensive and less problematic restoration. We are always trying to upgrade the collection, and this will be a major upgrade.
    We are a not-for-profit and contrary to what you may think, do not have deep pockets for restoring signs—especially of a magnitude like the Arby’s sign. If you would like to make a donation on behalf of restoring the Winton Road sign, we would welcome your support.

  4. John V says:

    There’s a flickr group dedicated to these signs:

  5. Greg says:

    The American Sign Museum already has an identical Arby’s sign, why would they need two?

  6. Greg says:

    I grew up 1/4-mile away from this sign and always loved it. The funny thing is that I was probably 25 before I understood what the Arby’s name referred to. You should try to get the local schools involved. The middle school, high school and a grade school are all within 1/2-mile of it.

  7. bob says:

    we just lost one of these in Peoria, Illinois (a classic bowling alley and the Arby’s were razed for a discount grocery store). The sign was spared and rumor has it that it was put on ebay

  8. Puddy says:

    Visit the Arbys on Telegraph Rd and M-59 in Pontiac/Waterford Michigan.

  9. john says:

    We still have quite a few signs like that in Richmond, VA.

    Check out this one on google maps streetview.

    7310 Hull Street Rd
    Richmond, VA 23224

Leave a Comment

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box