Bristol's historic Hotpoint sign is gone for now

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 2/27/19

On Friday, Feb. 22, Mitchell Baldwin and Pat Roy of Dion Sign Company in Central Falls came to Bristol to remove the iconic mid-20th century Hotpoint neon sign from 39 State St. The sign was added to …

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Bristol's historic Hotpoint sign is gone for now

Posted

On Friday, Feb. 22, Mitchell Baldwin and Pat Roy of Dion Sign Company in Central Falls came to Bristol to remove the iconic mid-20th century Hotpoint neon sign from 39 State St. The sign was added to the building during the years when it served as the appliance showroom and shop of a local plumbing company, one of the many “lives” of the c. 1811 building, which originally served as Bristol’s Customs House.

Removing the sign itself took about an hour, witnessed by a small crowd of onlookers. With the assistance of a crane and a bucket truck, the two men were able to safely bring the sign down to a flatbed and secure it. It was then taken to Central Falls for long-overdue restoration, which is expected to take about six weeks.

The project is being jointly funded by the Hotpoint Emporium, the building’s tenant, and Stephen DeLeo of Federal Properties of RI, the building’s owner. One of the key questions facing the group, with the neon letters long dark, was what color they should be upon restoration. Unable to find a color photograph of the lit sign, the group asked around town, but couldn’t find anyone who remembered. Happily, they got their answer on Friday morning. With the sign lying on the flatbed, one of the workers was able to electrify the sign. For just one brief moment before burning out for good, a portion of one of the neon tubes glowed.

“It’s red!” Mr DeLeo yelled triumphantly to the onlookers, who were standing back from the work area on the other side of a length of caution tape. They had their answer.

The Hotpoint Emporium Co-op is soliciting funds to help with the restoration, and they note that every contribution will help them reach their goal for a bright, fully functioning sign. Donations are welcome at The Hotpoint Emporium at 39 State St. They also have a GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/historic-landmark-restoration-hotpoint-sign.

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