The Lumi Neon Museum

The Lumi Neon Museum The Lumi rescues, restores and illuminates vintage neon in the greater Kansas City area. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit charity. Save The K.C. Neon
THE LUMI NEON MUSEUM

Starting in late 2017 with the rescue of the 1946 Crick Camera sign, the vision for the LUMI Neon Museum was born with the single objective to “Save the Kansas City Neon.”
The plan is to create a vintage neon museum, a publicly funded non-profit 501 (c)(3), that will rescue, restore, preserve and display iconic neon signs, primarily from Kansas City businesses.

Every sign has a story; we intend to tell each one, including history, business ownership, donor credit, the restoration process and more--our purpose is also to educate. Thanks to Whitney Graves and Metalworks for their professionalism in saving the Crick neon.

Operating as usual

10/13/2021

LUMI has some big news coming soon. Hopefully we can announce in the next 30 days. Stay tuned!

Here’s a bit of history on the Katz sign for all our Neon fans:The Katz Drug Store on Main Street and Westport Road was ...
08/24/2021

Here’s a bit of history on the Katz sign for all our Neon fans:

The Katz Drug Store on Main Street and Westport Road was designed by prominent local architect Clarence Kivett. When it opened in September of 1934, it was the largest drugstore in the US at 50,000 square feet. They even sold monkeys in the lower level! The building was art deco and had a clock tower which still exists today. Eventually the Katz brothers opened more than 50 stores throughout midwest.

Nick Vedros Pam Besheer Brian F. McCallister Patty Jones Bowen Ben Wine Nicole Teufel

Here’s a bit of history on the Katz sign for all our Neon fans:

The Katz Drug Store on Main Street and Westport Road was designed by prominent local architect Clarence Kivett. When it opened in September of 1934, it was the largest drugstore in the US at 50,000 square feet. They even sold monkeys in the lower level! The building was art deco and had a clock tower which still exists today. Eventually the Katz brothers opened more than 50 stores throughout midwest.

Nick Vedros Pam Besheer Brian F. McCallister Patty Jones Bowen Ben Wine Nicole Teufel

So, Guess What? LUMI is building a life size Katz Drug sign!One of your top choices for Most Iconic Neon is, yep, Katz D...
08/03/2021

So, Guess What?

LUMI is building a life size Katz Drug sign!

One of your top choices for Most Iconic Neon is, yep, Katz Drug Store’s rotating cat. We’re thrilled to announce that through the generosity of Fred & Jami Pryor and the amazing team at Fossil Forge Design in Lee Summit, LUMI has the Katz sign under construction. Pictured here from left to right is Dave Eames and Ben Wine showing progress.
Much more to come!
Nick Vedros Dudley Burt, Pam Besheer, Lisa Hickok Brian F. McCallister Sean Pickett Nicole Teufel Ben Wine Patty Bowen, Dave Eames.

So, Guess What?

LUMI is building a life size Katz Drug sign!

One of your top choices for Most Iconic Neon is, yep, Katz Drug Store’s rotating cat. We’re thrilled to announce that through the generosity of Fred & Jami Pryor and the amazing team at Fossil Forge Design in Lee Summit, LUMI has the Katz sign under construction. Pictured here from left to right is Dave Eames and Ben Wine showing progress.
Much more to come!
Nick Vedros Dudley Burt, Pam Besheer, Lisa Hickok Brian F. McCallister Sean Pickett Nicole Teufel Ben Wine Patty Bowen, Dave Eames.

What's your favorite iconic neon sign from your childhood? Tell us below. Here are a few of ours!Nick Vedros Pam Besheer...
07/19/2021

What's your favorite iconic neon sign from your childhood? Tell us below. Here are a few of ours!

Nick Vedros Pam Besheer Lisa Hickok Brian F. McCallister Curtis Shaddox Dudley Burt Patty Bowen Suzie Aron Ann Willoughby Nicole Teufel Ben Wine Sean Pickett

LUMI is pleased to list a rare classic Harzfeld’s neon sign among its prized collection. Harzfeld’s truly is a Kansas Ci...
06/08/2021

LUMI is pleased to list a rare classic Harzfeld’s neon sign among its prized collection. Harzfeld’s truly is a Kansas City brand name. A department store specializing in high-end women and children’s apparel, Harzfeld’s began as the Parisian Cloak Company in 1891 founded by Siegmund Harzfeld and Ferdinand Siegel. It became Harzfeld’s in 1913 when it opened it’s flagship store at Main Street and Petticoat Lane in downtown Kansas City, MO.

In addition to its quality product and excellent service, Harzfeld’s at this location will always be remembered for its commissioned Thomas Hart Benton mural, Archelous and Hercules, now part of the Smithsonian Institution’s American Art Museum in Washington D.C. Imagine a department store with such a masterpiece.

It’s first expansion from Main Street was to Columbia, Missouri in 1929. In 1954 it opened a store on the Country Club Plaza. Further local expansion included Blue Ridge Mall in 1958, Corinth Square in 1963 and Metcalf South in 1967. Regretfully the chain closed in 1984.

Our 1963 Harzfeld’s sign is from the exterior of the Corinth Square location and graciously gifted to LUMI by Kansas City graphic designers Joe and Michele Boeckholt, co-authors of Harzfeld’s: A Brief History. They acquired the sign from Bill Ballard and Mely’s Yogurt and Ice Cream who held them since the 80s. The Classic Harzfeld’s design adds a refined and elegant touch to our neon museum. The sign was brought back to life by Jason Walker of Olathe.

Donated by Joe and Michele Boeckholt
Restored through the generosity of Michael & Myrtia Mardikes
Type: Wall Mount
Size: 42 in H, 55 in W, 3 in D
Weight 100 lbs
Electrical 5 Amps @ 120v

Photos Nick Vedros

LUMI is pleased to list a rare classic Harzfeld’s neon sign among its prized collection. Harzfeld’s truly is a Kansas City brand name. A department store specializing in high-end women and children’s apparel, Harzfeld’s began as the Parisian Cloak Company in 1891 founded by Siegmund Harzfeld and Ferdinand Siegel. It became Harzfeld’s in 1913 when it opened it’s flagship store at Main Street and Petticoat Lane in downtown Kansas City, MO.

In addition to its quality product and excellent service, Harzfeld’s at this location will always be remembered for its commissioned Thomas Hart Benton mural, Archelous and Hercules, now part of the Smithsonian Institution’s American Art Museum in Washington D.C. Imagine a department store with such a masterpiece.

It’s first expansion from Main Street was to Columbia, Missouri in 1929. In 1954 it opened a store on the Country Club Plaza. Further local expansion included Blue Ridge Mall in 1958, Corinth Square in 1963 and Metcalf South in 1967. Regretfully the chain closed in 1984.

Our 1963 Harzfeld’s sign is from the exterior of the Corinth Square location and graciously gifted to LUMI by Kansas City graphic designers Joe and Michele Boeckholt, co-authors of Harzfeld’s: A Brief History. They acquired the sign from Bill Ballard and Mely’s Yogurt and Ice Cream who held them since the 80s. The Classic Harzfeld’s design adds a refined and elegant touch to our neon museum. The sign was brought back to life by Jason Walker of Olathe.

Donated by Joe and Michele Boeckholt
Restored through the generosity of Michael & Myrtia Mardikes
Type: Wall Mount
Size: 42 in H, 55 in W, 3 in D
Weight 100 lbs
Electrical 5 Amps @ 120v

Photos Nick Vedros

Feet Hurt? Dr. Scholl's has you covered.We just picked up this beautifully restored Dr. Scholl's Shoes 1950's porcelain ...
03/31/2021

Feet Hurt? Dr. Scholl's has you covered.

We just picked up this beautifully restored Dr. Scholl's Shoes 1950's porcelain sign from our friend, Jason Walker (far left). Jason is from Olathe and he and his family have been helping Lumi with restoring signs. Greg at Gamma Neon did a wonderful job restoring the neon. This one turned out just gorgeous. Thank you, Jason!

Lumi's Applebees neon apple was recently installed in the KCAM Underground. We love how it turned out. Our goal is to re...
02/05/2021

Lumi's Applebees neon apple was recently installed in the KCAM Underground. We love how it turned out. Our goal is to rescue, restore and illuminate again. Our thanks to St. Joseph sign and Steinmetz Neon. nv

12/24/2020
HofferWaska Creative and Amax Sign Co. reproduce Route 66 neon signs

https://www.signsofthetimes.com/Route66NeonSigns
This is really exciting. Lumi is getting ready to build an iconic Kansas City neon I refer to as our holy grail. Stay tuned!
nv

Three reproduced neon signs recently debuted along Route 66 in Tulsa, OK. The three 20-ft.-tall signs are stationed on Avery Plaza Southwest, named after Cyrus Avery, known as the “father of Route 66.” The three signs are the Will Rogers Motor Court (originally built in the ’40s), the Tulsa Au...

Team Lumi found this wonderful Christmas scene photo on Minnesota Avenue back in the 50s. See all the wonderful neon inc...
12/12/2020

Team Lumi found this wonderful Christmas scene photo on Minnesota Avenue back in the 50s. See all the wonderful neon including Lumi's Kuluva sign to the right of photo. It use to have the curved arrow, Frigidaire, Maytag and appliances surrounding our 1952 sign.
nv

11/27/2020

Today is the last day to see Lumi's vintage neon signs at Crossroads Hotel Kansas City. Tomorrow our display comes down.

Today is the last day to see Lumi's 1st neon display at Crossroads Hotel Kansas City. It has been a terrific place to ho...
11/27/2020

Today is the last day to see Lumi's 1st neon display at Crossroads Hotel Kansas City. It has been a terrific place to host us.

11/22/2020

Today is the last day to see Lumi's Crossroads Hotel Kansas City neon display. Seeing vintage neon in person is the best. It's very safe to go since masks are mandated in the spacious lobby and throughout the entire hotel.
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This week LUMI had Englewood Arts down for a tour of our display. The signs will be up through Black Friday. Go visit Cr...
11/20/2020

This week LUMI had Englewood Arts down for a tour of our display. The signs will be up through Black Friday. Go visit Crossroads Hotel Kansas City to see these historic signs before they come down. Visit thelumineonmuseum.org to make a donation. Thank you.
nv

11/14/2020

You still have a chance to see these historical neon signs at Crossroads Hotel Kansas City. This is Lumi's 1st public display. Only on display till November 27th 2020. We are a non-profit 501c3.
Help support us by donating at thelumineonmuseum.org. Your support dollars helps us restore more great signs, before it's too late. Thank you.
nv

Today Curtis Shaddox and I loaded his 12 foot Goodyear sign up from the American Truck Historical Society where it has b...
11/12/2020

Today Curtis Shaddox and I loaded his 12 foot Goodyear sign up from the American Truck Historical Society where it has been on loan. The sign is headed to The Kansas City Automotive Museum Underground.
Team Lumi always happy to help. Visit us at thelumineonmuseum.org find the donate button we could use your help.
nv

Today was an exciting day for LUMI. We had many of the donors who once owned these neon treasures down to Crossroads Hot...
11/10/2020

Today was an exciting day for LUMI. We had many of the donors who once owned these neon treasures down to Crossroads Hotel to tour our current display of signs. Below is Michele Markowitz owner of famed Davey's Uptown Rambler Club on Main Street. This 1950s PARK IN REAR sign was originally at Jimmy & Mary's Steakhouse until 1995 when Davey's took over the space. Michele donated the sign to LUMI in 2020. She is Super Cool!
Please note these 7 historic signs will only be at Crossroads Hotel through Thanksgiving 2020. Crossroads adheres to a strict mask policy in their spacious lobby. So give us a visit.
Help us restore more neons by going to thelumineonmuseum.org and make a donation. We are a non-profit 501c3 Thank You!
nv

You definitely don't want to miss our neon sign installations at the Crossroads Hotel in Kansas City, on loan till Thank...
10/23/2020

You definitely don't want to miss our neon sign installations at the Crossroads Hotel in Kansas City, on loan till Thanksgiving. Make sure to stop by XR, which is now back open Thursdays through Saturdays!

10/13/2020
Lumi Neon Signs at the Crossroads Hotel

We can’t contain our excitement for this big news! View eight neon signs from our collection, now on display @crossroadshotelkansascity till Thanksgiving!

10/06/2020
See how neon lights up a room! Lou Jane Temple the founder of November Pink on the left with Ann Willoughby Lumi Advisor...
09/13/2020

See how neon lights up a room! Lou Jane Temple the founder of November Pink on the left with Ann Willoughby Lumi Advisor on the right. Dinner party at the Vedros Compound.

Our newest rescue! Kelly's BakeryAfter serving five years in WWII Europe, Jim Kelly purchased a doughnut shop at the cor...
09/09/2020

Our newest rescue! Kelly's Bakery

After serving five years in WWII Europe, Jim Kelly purchased a doughnut shop at the corner of St. John Blvd. and Jackson Ave. in Northeast Kansas City. There, he and his new bride, Millie, founded Kelly’s Bakery.

A full-line bakery, Kelly's baked bread, donuts, cookies, Danish pastries, and especially, cakes.
A 1951 graduate of the Wilton Decorating School in Chicago, Jim became a master cake decorator.
Often complimented on his beautiful cake roses, Jim commented, "They could even fool the bees!"

In the heavily Italian, German and Irish neighborhood, Kelly’s was also known for its breads, particularly their Italian Butter Crust.

Colleen Kelly Raveill remembers the day the Kelly’s neon sign was hung: “It was 1962 and I was in second grade. My sister Patricia and I were coming home from school on the city bus. They were hanging the sign and had machinery all around. We ran into the shop, and mom and dad were so excited. It was a huge thing for them!”

At 6 feet, 2 inches, Jim Kelly looked nothing like the chef on his neon sign; customers teased him often about that.

For health reasons, Jim and Millie sold the bakery to son Jim Kelly, Jr. and Carol LaBruzzo in 1976. Jim was the baker, and Carol specialized in Italian cookies and cake decorating. In 1985, Jim Jr. sold his share to Carol, who ran the business until closing in 1995.

Chubby's was an iconic Kansas City restaurant, consider yourself lucky if you had the opportunity to dine there.Located ...
09/02/2020

Chubby's was an iconic Kansas City restaurant, consider yourself lucky if you had the opportunity to dine there.

Located at 3756 Broadway, Chubby’s was a
mid-town mainstay for Kansas City’s late night
crowd. It closed Halloween night 2018.

We're thankful to have this sign as a part of our collection.

LUMI is delighted to have a brandname synonymous with Kansas Cityrepresented in our museum.Hallmark Cards, Inc. is a fam...
08/26/2020

LUMI is delighted to have a brand
name synonymous with Kansas City
represented in our museum.

Hallmark Cards, Inc. is a family-owned American
company based in Kansas City, Missouri. Founded
in 1910 by Joyce Hall, Hallmark is the oldest and
largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the
United States. In 1985, the company was awarded
the National Medal of Arts.

We believe this sign in the classic Hallmark word
mark and backlit with neon to be from the 1990s.

The brainchild of Lou Jane Temple, November Pinkspecialized in vintage clothing as well as Avant guarddesigns from bouti...
08/12/2020

The brainchild of Lou Jane Temple, November Pink
specialized in vintage clothing as well as Avant guard
designs from boutique shows in New York City.

Thriving on estate sales and auctions when one could
still get clothes from the 40s and 50s, November Pink
flourished in the popular “Old New” niche of the day.
One might even find the occasional Nelly Don dress.
November Pink operated at two locations on Westport
Road, first at 1719 and later at 415, between the
years 1980 and 1985.

The 4 Acre Motel, located at 8220 HickmanMills Drive, billed itself as Kansas City’s mostaccommodating roadside motel.Wi...
07/29/2020

The 4 Acre Motel, located at 8220 Hickman
Mills Drive, billed itself as Kansas City’s most
accommodating roadside motel.

With 24 spacious rooms in a “Liberty-style” building,
a family restaurant, cocktail lounge, 24-
hour office, complementary self parking,
housekeeping, and a vending machine (for
crying out loud,) the 4 Acre was convenient
to the Kansas City Zoo, Starlight Theater,
the Lakeside Nature Center, Fairyland Park
and many must-see Kansas City attractions.
It is even rumored that Marilyn Monroe once
stayed there!

Phil Turner opened his Turner Music Store inIndependence, Missouri in the 1930s. It was afamily owned and operated busin...
07/22/2020

Phil Turner opened his Turner Music Store in
Independence, Missouri in the 1930s. It was a
family owned and operated business until 1978
when it sold to the Prewitt family. The Turner
name and the iconic neon sign stayed with the
store even after it closed in the early 2000s.

Turner specialized in “live” music, selling
only musical instruments and equipment—no
records were sold in the store. Music lessons
were offered and Mrs. Turner actually started
the first William Chrisman High School
band. Turner Music then initiated the first
school band instrument rental program in
Independence.

First located at 405 West Lexington on the
square in Independence (the neon music note
was installed in 1953), Turner Music opened
their new store at 205 Lexington in 1969.
The proud Turner family dubbed it “the most
beautiful store in America.”After Turner Music
closed, the neon note remained a short time
with a business called Monster Music, but was
removed when the space opened as a vintage
furniture store.

The Lumi Neon Museum
06/22/2020

The Lumi Neon Museum

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Save The K.C. Neon

Starting in late 2017 with the rescue of the 1946 Crick Camera sign, the vision for the LUMI Neon Museum was born with the single objective to “Save the Kansas City Neon.”

The plan is to create a vintage neon museum, a publicly funded non-profit 501 (c)(3), that will rescue, restore, preserve and display iconic neon signs, primarily from Kansas City businesses.

Every sign has a story; we intend to tell each one, including history, business ownership, donor credit, the restoration process and more--our purpose is also to educate.

Nearby museums

Comments

I was able to pick up this piece of Kansas City history yesterday. Can anyone help with a period correct transformer? Thanks!
Thought I'd share with Lumi this sign still standing in Independence, MO. My dad designed and made it more than 50 years ago!
The Lumi Neon Museum, I'm trying to track down the origin of this neon sign. Is it located in Pueblo's Neon Alley? https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10218249803983681&set=a.1062733735739&type=3&theater
I would like to pay tribute to my friend Jeff Upton a fellow lifer in the sign business a brother of the neon flames . His father Jim grew up on The town Of Bagnel Missouri where my grand father moved his neon shop to from 31st and main in Kansas City in 1947 . He got on the sign business and I believe in the 60’s he worked for General outdoor in Kansas City . Then in the 70’s he became the foreman for my Dads shop . Later he started Quality sign company in Lake Ozark in partner with long time friend Mel Barikman . Jeff grew up just like I did hanging and building signs with his dad instead of water skiing and partying the summers away he was a great friend , and a fantastic sign man he will be missed
This is me and my grand father Bill Finlay he started in the neon business in 1928 had his own shop on 31st . He taught Finis and Don Necessary , Larry Lots, Dale and Gewel Bowlin , I am sure I am forgetting somebody . I am trying to get the first ones he taught . He certainly taught me plenty , He moved to the Lake of the Ozarks in 1948 . He was the neon master . He made the neon on the car I think there is a picture of it here some where .? Stouts ? Electric ? Not sure the name is right lol
Mat and Linda Scrivnor Of Mid-states signs just re-installed this local sign the business was damaged by fire then the Tornado finished it off . Mid-States sign was founded by the late Howard Scrivnor who worked for The Picket Brothers at United digns in Kansas City , my dad Don Finlay at Finlay and and Sons Signs and started in the 60’s ELDON sign Company for the late Bud Vlack The neon bender on this project was my nephew Michael Scot , the sign is in ELDON Missouri
I'm happy to find out about this museum! Love vintage neon. Also my dad (now deceased) was an artist with a small sign company and designed and made the Stephenson's sign and Mugs Up sign still standing up in Independence. He would love knowing of this preservation effort.
Was that you guys taking down the 4 acre motel sign?
In 1928 Bill Finlay a cabinet maker was hired to build crates in the first neon shop in Kansas City . They were making individual letters and shipping them out . He quickly got involved in bending the glass becoming like the 2nd or 3rd bender in town . He soon after ( year in known ) started the Finlay Neon tube company . He told me the worst year of the depression he made $10,000 . In 1936 he bought the farm in Miller county Lake Ozark . He continued to run the shop in KC until 1947 . In that time he trained most all of the old timers while doing the work of most of the companies talked about on this site . Finnise Nessesary was picking apples for .50 cents a day . And went to work for Bill for .50 an hour . He went on and worked for Federal signs for 50 years and trained Randy Stienmetz . His Brother Don also learned the trade and went to Hutchison Kansas My father Don Finlay went there for a spell when he was young to pump the tubes for Don. Two other brothers who learned from Bill was Gewel and Dale Bowlin Gewel had a shop in KCK for nearly 50 years . I visited there many times in the late 80’s the building was falling down around him . He Gewel also trained Stephany who had Down Town Neon for many years . He trained Larry Lots that shop ended up as Indepedence sign Company . I forgot their names ? Sorry . In 1947 Bill and his Family moved to the lake full time and started Finlay and Sons Sign company which Dad ran My Uncle Bill Finlay moved to Sedalia to help a relative John Zolaph Who Grand Dad Bill also trained. They had Sedalia Neon. Many many others came through our shop and learned the trade . I grew up doing every job needed to do electric signs . Operated a small neon shop I called show me neon for about 10 years in Kansas City . I have traveled the entire country doing Neon . I have enjoyed this page and the memories. And will try to go to the museum sometime . I lost grand pa in 1991 and dad in 2016 . They were a vital part of the Neon Industry in Missouri and they took it across the country . I will try to contribute to this page when I can there are still a few signs out there . This pic is a sign dad built it is still there in Gravois Mills Missouri he and I and my brother in-law Don Cameron worked late onto the night putting it up . We cut the poles with a 8 “ manual rolling pole cutter . It must have been in the early 80’s ? More pics to. Come
Who is running this Page ! I see signs I worked on Cricks camera and I 70 speedway also my grand father did the neon on the car . He started in KC in 1928 I ran a shop up there for a decade !
This coffee pot actually spewed steam!
...this coffee pot actually spewed real steam from the spout!!