was never my intention to be the bearer of bad tidings, but I'm afraid
somebody has to break the news that the neon sign is on the way out.
Advances in LED technology and Electroluminescent (EL) wire
are rendering these electronic icons of kitsch obsolete, while their
toxic components - such as mercury and argon - and high electricity
consumption are raising the collective eyebrows of the environmentally
Fortunately, New York native and architect
Kirsten Hively, is doing something about their impending demise. She is
documenting them. Hundreds of them. All around New York City.
With Project Neon,
Hively is not only capturing the images of the signs, she is capturing
the stories behind them. Attached to every sign is a business, and she
goes inside each of one them, making a purchase, and meeting the people
that give the signs meaning.
Still, as much as neon signs are an important part of 20th century culture, not everyone is going to miss them: