By Seth Daniel
Charlestown’s iconic pink, neon sign went missing late last month.
It was to the Town as it would be to Boston if Fenway’s Citgo sign suddenly disappeared.
But earlier this month, all was returned to normal as the Schrafft’s sign returned atop the office building on Sullivan Square in a newer, clearer and more efficient manner.
“It’s an interesting sign,” said John Roche of the Flatley Company. “I would best describe it as an ‘iconic’ sign and put it right up there with the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square…We know how important it was to us and the residents of Charlestown. We were very interested in doing something to make the sign more dependable and it took awhile to get there. We feel it came out well and are very pleased with the way it came out and looks now.”
The new sign is a more efficient LED configuration that shows much clearer than the old neon sign. The new sign also had the backing refurbished behind it in the more traditional red color. The new sign also coincides with some new lighting on the side of the building, as well as the refurbishment of the lobby inside.
Roche said the sign was a constant source of maintenance, especially during rainy weather. At some point, Roche said they knew they had to do something new.
“That was a very, very old sign and was quickly becoming an unsafe condition,” he said. “We knew we had to do something. It was neon and was becoming difficult to find parts to replace the neon bulbs. Every time it would rain hard, we would lose a letter up there. The sign looked awful when the ’S’ would go out and we would have to shut the whole side down. We thought that just looked a little sloppy. That’s the image it portrayed and we’re not sloppy.”
The end result has so far been met with great enthusiasm – especially with the sign being more dependable. Roche said they also expect to gain some savings from the more efficient LED light source, which uses less power than the old neon version.