May 24, 2002 - Restoring the Coca-Cola Sign

A capital city landmark that goes back to the golden age of neon is getting a facelift.

In the "operating room," two guys struggle with the most famous capital "C" in the world. They unbolt the huge letter and set it on the concrete floor. Even in this reduced circumstance, it is easily recognized as the first letter in "Coca-Cola." The last time most of us saw it, it was on the big coke sign on top of Richoux's at Third and Florida in downtown Baton Rouge. It has been there since 1946. It was taken down a few weeks ago. Don't worry, it's coming back.

The guys at Jones Electric Signs in Denham Springs will see to that. And when they are through restoring the old Coke sign, it will light up and flash in all of its neon glory just like it did in the days right after World War II. It was a glorious sight. Buck Jones remembers it from his youth. "It was entertaining. It was entertaining then, and it's just an honor to be working on it. Everything on this thing is designed in such a fashion that it will last for at least another 50 years."

At one time there were huge Coke signs all over the U.S.A. Now there are just a couple left. Jones says, "I think it's wonderful that the Coca-Cola company and the people downtown have decided to make this a landmark of the city and light it up." Jones and his crew are lighting the way to refreshing memories. The restoration of the historic sign is expected to be finished by mid summer.