A combination of spot lights and failing neon tubes on the Frontier Motel sign, 227 W. Drachman in Tucson. It was built in 1942 and formerly known as the Pioneer Motel. It's had a checkered life since the 1960s, according to news clippings.
The chef's head from the refurbished neon sign outside Caruso's Italian Restaurant, 434 S. 6th Ave. in Tucson. The sign was re-lit in 2013 after repairs by Always Neon and Signs. Caruso's opened in the 1930s. The sign was added in the 1950s.
Pedestrians stroll by the window and the stylized neon Hydra sign, 145 E. Congress in Tucson. Hydra clothing opened in the mid-90s. Their sign represents a new wave of neon downtown. Previous tenants included Dave Bloom and Sons clothing, a downtown fixture since 1906. It moved to El Con Mall in the early 1970s.
Photos by Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star
Text by Rick Wiley / Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star photographer Kelly Presnell revisited neon signs that dot the landscape in Tucson. Many are a throwback to a time when a handful of longtime restaurants, hotels and bars served a smaller city. Some of the signs are barely hanging on today. Some have been lovingly restored to their former glory. Regardless, there's no way to duplicate the feel of neon when the sun goes down.