A few months ago, the American Sign Museum finally opened the doors to its new, larger location at 1330 Monmouth St. in Cincinnati’s Camp Washington neighborhood. The new space permits the display of larger signs that were previously in storage, and there is now more room to showcase the timeline of technical and aesthetic advances in commercial signage.
The museum is somewhat hidden behind Machine Flats but, as soon as you see this guy who greeted visitors at the old location, you know you’re in the right place:
Much of the collection was displayed in the previous space, like the old Big Boy figurine who sports red hair and a slingshot in his back pocket:
With the additional space, the displays are better spaced out and sequenced, in a timeline format from gold leaf and painted to pre-neon electric and the plethora of neon signs:
The highlight of the new space is the new Main St. display, which consists of a block of storefronts featuring vintage signs augmented by custom hand-painted signage where appropriate. The middle of the street is occupied by large neon signs that were not on display before, flanked by storefronts such as Rohs Hardware, which used to be on Vine St. in Over-the-Rhine. The Sign Museum was able to acquire not just the neon sign but the entire storefront, along with the actual battered front door:
The old location was incredible, but this new space is even better! The American Sign Museum is a definite must-see in Cincinnati, even if you’re not a graphic designer or lover of old signs. I recommend taking the guided tour and allowing at least 1 1/2 hours for your visit.
When you’re done checking out the museum, head on over to adjacent Neonworks to watch the crafting of neon signs in real time.