Westgate Shopping Center sign
The photo above accompanied the article below entitled "90 Feet in the Air", from the October 1960 issue of Signs of the Times Magazine. Apparently both the shopping center and its beautiful sign are still there today (such as they are), but a look at this page will show that it doesn't look quite the same these days. But at least it's still there (as of 2005 anyway).
Now on to the original article:
"The trend toward bigger and bigger signs is well exemplified by the gigantic Westgate Shopping Center spectacular in Albany, N. Y., that rises 90 feet in the air above the parking lot entrance to the store group. The king-sized identification, incorporating neonized copy, a chasing border action and a jump clock, is raised on two towering steel uprights.
The uprights are formed of 30-inch wide flange, 108-pound steel. Each section is 100 feet long--extending 90 feet above ground and 10 feet below grade, based in 33 tons of concrete. The columns were delivered to Albany on two railroad flat cars and emplaced by a pair of 100-foot boom cranes.
The single copy panel, a 30 by 20-foot oval, is faced with porcelain with white porcelain channel letters. The double-faced sections are turquoise, rimmed with yellow porcelain. The huge 'W' is 8 feet tall, outlined with four rows of clear red tubing. Three rows of red illuminate the remaining 'Westgate' letters. The remaining copy is double tubed in turquoise. Some 1500 yellow incandescent lamps border the oval and, activated by two flashers, create a rotating light effect.
The background for the clock, which utilizes 36-inch letters, is black satin finished enamel. Filler for both the clock unit and the copy panel is stainless steel. The enclosure at the sign base, which houses the electrical service equipment, also is formed of porcelain and stainless steel.
The contract for construction of the display, exclusive of the planter, was awarded to Judge Neon Sign Co., Inc., Albany, N. Y. The steel structure was subcontracted to a local steel fabricator. Judge Neon completed all excavating work, set the footings and constructed and installed all other elements of the sign under the supervision of Mr. Trembly, Judge production manager.
Tests were performed to determine the proper height of the proposed sign in regard to several nearby obstacles which would tend to obscure visibility from desired directions. After determination of the general size and shape, rough drawings were prepared by Raymond Murphy, sign company designer.
A steel rung ladder has been welded to one of the steel columns to give service crews access to the towering sign. A trolley track has been incorporated at the top of the sign from which scaffolding or a bos'n chair can be suspended to reach the various parts of the display. Three platforms have been installed between the two ovals which provide access through the rear of the sign. An additional platform was placed below he clock unit for this servicing."
Mall history: 1957 - present
Current website: n/a
Current aerial view
Previous entries: none