For the first time in nearly six decades, the corner of Main and Brook streets will glow green when the Murphy Elevator Co. relights its historic neon sign. The World War II-era relic has been fully restored to when it first went up around 1940 and was one of the first of its kind on Main Street.
The official lighting will take place during the Republic Bank First Friday Hop from 6-9:30 p.m. on Friday, and all are welcome to stop in and bask in its glow.
“The first time I saw it at night, I couldn’t help but get a little misty thinking about my grandfather,” said Travis Carlisle, Murphy’s VP of administration, in a press release. “He would have had so much joy from seeing this thing work again.”
The family-owned Murphy Elevator Co. opened in 1932 during the Great Depression and managed to persevere through the decades. It operates some of Louisville’s oldest lifts and elevators, from the Frazier History Museum to the newly built Angel’s Envy Distillery, and has expanded its business into four other states.
The neon sign is 70 feet long and contains more than 400 feet of new blown glass, as well as the original ceramic and colors. It’s been featured in many typography publications over the years, noted mainly for its use of the post-war font Eagle Bold, which has been referred to as “the symbol of American recovery.”
Murphy Elevator will be a stop along the Trolley Hop on Friday, and there will be snacks and refreshments on the company’s patio to celebrate. It is located at 128 E. Main St.