It was so old and janky and never worked right! Half of the lights seemed to run on Lucas three-position switch technology (off, dim and flicker) and it was a different half almost every night. I have long had this fantasy that the reason the sign always looked like that is that there is only one guy left in the world who knows how to fix the mechanical relays that drive its pattern logic, and that guy is 95 and has trouble getting up and down the ladder to sweep the birdshit out of the contacts with his vintage Nineteenth-century wire brush.
That's how it is in my head, anyway. If the reality is not actually like that, then I don't want to know.
But anyway, replacing it with a slick, modern LED facimile? Feh! I shake an angry fist.
The Coca-Cola Company announced today plans to replace the historic neon sign in San Francisco`s South of Market district. Coca-Cola has maintained a display alongside the southbound lanes on the I-80 freeway heading in to downtown San Francisco for more than 75 years. In its place will be a state-of-the-art LED display that is consistent in size and brightness with the existing sign but 80% more energy efficient and is to be powered by 100% sustainable and certified "green" energy. [...]
To begin preparations for installation, power will be shut off to the existing display starting today. Skilled display and lighting workers will begin carefully dismantling and removing the display faces. By December 11, it will be completely disassembled and the installation of the replacement faces will begin. [...] Coca-Cola also plans a `flip-the-switch` ceremony to celebrate relighting the new sign. More details will be forthcoming.