The sign adoring the historic L&N building at Ninth and Broadway will be temporarily removed and then restored. | Photo via Google Maps

Kentucky Press News Service

FRANKFORT – The Finance and Administration Cabinet Thursday announced the historic and iconic L & N sign, located on the east façade of the 11th floor of the L & N Building in downtown Louisville, will be removed for restoration as part of an overall roof maintenance and replacement project.

Depending on weather, contractors will remove the sign on Saturday.

It has been more than 30 years since the sign was last restored. While maintenance and repairs have been made through the years, a comprehensive restoration is needed, a state news release said. Because of the extensive scope of work required to fully restore the sign to its original condition, including repairing the structural steel support system, this can only be done off-site instead of on the roof of the building.

The sign is porcelain coated metal supported by a “backbox” metal structure that is attached to the building with a truss framework. Neon gas glass-discharge tubes, installed in 1986 after extensive repair replacing the original neon lighting system, illuminate the letters. An energy-efficient flexible LED neon system will be installed.

“The Commonwealth values the historic nature of this landmark sign that has been a prominent feature of Louisville’s skyline for over a century,” said Andrew Casebier, director of the Division of Engineering and Contract Administration. “We are taking every possible precaution to protect the sign during the extensive restoration project so that it can be returned to its prominent location and resume its important place overlooking the city.”

The sign will be removed and stored in Frankfort with restoration work expected to begin when funds become available. After restoration, reinstallation will commence once the roof and structural steel support system repairs are completed.

The roof project is estimated to take approximately four months. The architect is JRA Architects and structural engineer is Senler Campbell and Associates, both from Louisville. The general contractor for the project is DK Constructors of Lagrange.

The L & N Building was originally constructed to serve as offices for the L & N Railroad and was built in two phases during 1905-07 and 1930. Now it houses offices of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Administrative Offices of the Court, Department of Revenue as well as the local health department. It is not known when the sign was originally installed on the building.


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