January 28, 2020


The Tudor City sign, January 27, 2020.
Regular readers are well aware of this blog's obsession with the renovation of the Tudor City sign, so it's a thrill to report that the netting and scaffolding were removed Monday, and the sign can now be seen in all its refurbished glory.

In place since Tudor City opened in 1927, this historic sign ‒ said to be the only extant sign in Manhattan advertising an apartment complex ‒ has had many alterations over the years. Originally lit with incandescent bulbs, it was converted to neon in 1939, then completely rebuilt after toppling over during a storm in 1949. Around 1990, it went dark, and has been in a state of advanced decrepitude ever since. This latest renovation, eight months in the making, was begun in May, 2019.

A then-and-now comparison, below.

The renovation included refabricating the deteriorated steel inlays of the letters, which were painted metallic gold, mimicking an earlier color scheme. The framework was structurally sound, and repainted black. 

At present, there are no plans to illuminate it, though our dream is to see it softly floodlit at night, like the Silvercup Studios sign in Long Island City. But for now, it's great to see this neglected landmark back in the game and looking so snazzy.

A more detailed history of the sign here

Thank you to Anne Stoddard for the progress reports.