PPS 2020 Endangered Properties List

The Providence Preservation Society has released its latest Most Endangered Properties List. New this year is the Axelrod Music neon sign from the ’50s.

Locally, musician and violin dealer Abraham Axelrod established a music store in 1910; by 1913 he opened a shop at the Arcade. Then by mid-century, he moved down the street to 251 Weybosset where the neon sign remains hung at the 2nd and 3rd floor levels, while half of his name is still visible in a sign above the door.

The building with Art Deco references at 249-257 Weybosset is located at a subtle bend in the serpentine street, which was a Pequot Tribe trail running through what is today downtown Providence. The neon Axelrod sign is strategically placed at the angle of the façade for maximum exposure.

I have had my eye on this for some time. I took the featured image here roughly eight years ago. The photo below, taken last August, more clearly shows the deterioration at the bottom of the sign. The PPS entry discusses the historical significance of signage and its inclusion on this list.

We invite you to consider if, through survival, this neon sign is now a landmark. Does it contribute to the building façade in such a way that it should be considered part of the architecture and preserved? While not the PPAC marquee across the street or the Citgo sign in Boston, PPS believes the Axelrod sign is a notable piece of downtown history worthy of preservation.

I agree. Let’s get this lit.

Axelrod Music sign, 251 Weybosset Street, (directions)

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