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.
The 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..