Jul 20, 2023 - News

Chicago's vintage signs get new protections

neon sign

Neon signs lit up Wabash Avenue in 1964. Photo: Roger Viollet via Getty Images

Chicago's City Council voted Wednesday to protect vintage signs and murals from being destroyed.

Recently we asked you which iconic Chicago signs you would take home and mount in your living room. You did not disappoint.

What they're saying: Many readers named the "Magikist" sign, also referred to as "The Lips," that used to live near our area expressways.

  • Yes, but: Nobody recalls what the company did (rug cleaning), but everyone remembers those humongous, bright red lips. The last sign was removed from the Edens in 2003.

Other beloved signs:

chop suey sign
The neon Orange Garden sign that lit up North Center for decades until it was taken down last year. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Our favorites:

  • Monica: If I couldn't get my grandfather's "Hoe Sai Gai" restaurant sign that was taken down in 1962 to make room for Daley Plaza, I'd want the old "Orange Garden Chop Suey" sign — maybe Billy Corgan will sell it to me.
  • Carrie: I'd fondly remember my younger (more fun) days and the many nights I spent at Simon's. It's still at the Andersonville bar but when they don't need it anymore, they can call me.
  • Justin: Easy. Even though it's not really a sign, I'd rescue the "Rainforest Cafe" frog.

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