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Save The Beer Depot Sign!

Help out with the final funding of the restoration of this historic Doo Wop era sign!

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THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Although we didn't meet the goal right here on Indiegogo, additional support was generated by the campaign, and the sign is up, with more work to be completed within a week or so.

GET THE DETAILS ON OUR BLOG

 

 

A Reasonable Question...

Why are we asking for help for a sign for a retail operation?

Because when the historic Beer Depot sign blew down in 2011, the cheaper, easier option was to simply replace it with a modern, less expensive one.

But we felt obligated to preserve this local landmark.

After almost two years and almost twenty thousand dollars, we came up a little short when the insurance company tried to deny payment on the sign's policy!

The Story

(For the full story, you can always visit our website)

Until it blew over on one of the windiest days on record in April 2011, the Doo Wop era neon Beer Depot sign was a symbol of a disappearing America that had been photographed and referenced as a cultural icon by people literally all over the world for decades.
 
In spite of its established reputation as a classic example of an historic era in signage as well as a local landmark, the effort to restore the sign has been an uphill battle all the way.

First obstacle: filing the appeal. Although the sign was on a property that is designated as historic by the City of Ann Arbor, we had to pursue a costly appeal process to even have permission to resurrect the sign.
 
We won the appeal, and began the process of restoration. We had expected to complete the work in the fall of 2012.
 
Then, we hit another obstacle. The insurance company refused to pay on the policy covering the sign!
 
We went to court, and although we "won", in this case "winning" meant receiving about 1/4 if the estimated value of the sign!

Many of the signs supporters had suggested early on that we do a fundraiser like this, but we were reluctant, until this final snag.

We have believed from the beginning that the extra expense and hardship we've endured to restore the sign is something we owe the community, so we'll get it completed no matter what it takes.

But now is YOUR chance to show YOUR support!
 
For the full history of what has happened so far, visit the Save Our Sign blog.

What We Need & What You Get

The total cost of restoring the sign is approximately $25,000

Approximately $5,000 in legal and administrative costs for the appeal

Approximately $20,000 for the actual restoration

As a result of the insurance company attempting to not pay on the policy covering the sign, we ended up with nearly $10,000 less than anticipated.

We bit the bullet on half of that; now we're asking for the community's help on the rest. The sign is nearly complete, the pole for the sign is erected, but after almost two years and $20,000, we're temporarily out of steam!

In return for your support, we are offering various levels of one-time discounts for smaller donations, and a variety of commemorative acknowledgments or special gifts for "premium" supporters.

The Impact

In spite of Ann Arbor's literally international reputation as a charming college community with a walkable downtown, tree-lined streets, and a strong sense of historic preservation to maintain that charming character, in the opinion of most, it has slowly been losing that battle to blocky high-rise development.
 
The loss of the historic Beer Depot sign would have been yet another ding in the loss of character that the town has arguably endured. The site that the sign was on has been more or less in its current form since the 1950's, and the sign has been there more or less since the beginning.

And the battle to get it restored has placed additional hardship on a family-owned business that has already seen a dramatic drop in revenue due to the poor visibility of the store in the sign's absence.
 
Your support will help resurrect this classic neon sign, and help Ann Arbor preserve a little piece of its history!

Don't Have Funds To Donate?

That's okay, help us spread the word by using Indiegogo's sharing tools, Facebook, and word of mouth!


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