29 December 2011

Sign's History Revealed

Back in June 2010, I puzzled over this sign at 30 E. 29th Street in Manhattan. It seemed so much older than the restaurant, Campanile, that sat under it.

Recently, a regular reader, the author of Project Neon, wrote it to tell me she had cracked the case. It used to be called the Weathervane Inn. It was founded by Nat Levine, an immigrant from Poland, who moved here in the 1920s, and ran a place called The Milk Bar on Nassau Street prior to opening the Weathervane. Patrons included Joe Namath, Lauren Bacall, and Joe Louis.

The Levines liked the sign as much as I do. To wit: "The neon sign was considered important enough that they carried a service contract that meant the minute a single letter went out a service person immediately came to fix it." If only such devotion was more evident today.

The Weathervane was sold in 1973 


Mitch said...

Reading the article, what I find great is that this restaurant has a chain of ownership back to the 1920s, and they all love the sign!

Ken Mac said...

beautiful on so many levels

Nancy Levine said...

Thanks so much for posting this item! This was my grandfather's restaurant and prized neon sign that he had custom made in the 1950's. The quote is from my mom.