Saving the Sky-Lit Motel Sign

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ASHWAUBENON, Wis (WFRV) Historic preservation groups in Brown County are trying to save a piece of the area’s past. It’s a historic neon sign that has fallen on hard times. The sign sits along Ashland Avenue in Ashwaubenon. All that’s left from the old Sky-Lit Motel.

Where the Sky-Lit Motel once stood – not much remains. Except a picked-over neon sign – which Mark steuer and many others – would now like to restore.

“It’s an iconic sign,1950 neon style,” said Steuer. “You don’t see signs like that much anymore.”

The motel was torn down to make way for a stormwater retention pond. Before work began Steuer says village officials put out feelers to see if preservation groups had any interest in this sign. Problem is his group, the Brown County Trust for Historic Preservation never got a call.

“Many times we don’t hear about things until the 11th hour,” said Steuer, president of the group.

And neither did the Brown County Historical Society.

“Just maybe they were looking in the wrong place,” said Chris Dunbar, executive director of the historical society.

Dunbar says village officials told her after hearing nothing they allowed a couple from Seymour to salvage the sign for parts.

“The neon lights and some other things considered very valuable,” Steuer said.

Now Steuer and Dunbar are looking to raise $3,000 – $5,000 in donations to restore the sign that’s left.

“I would appeal to the community – if there is someone out there with a little bit of money.” Steuer said.

And once restored to place it in a safe location.

“Sign like that would be great at Bay Beach or the museum,” said Steuer.

Safe for decades going forward just as it has for decades in the past.

“It’s those unique bits of our community that make us who we are,” Dunbar said.

If you would like to donate, contact Chris Dunbar from the Brown County Historical Society at 920-437-1840.

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