A sign of the times

John Stegeman, Sports Editor

11 months 21 days 11 hours ago |198 Views | | | Email | Print

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

For more than 50 years, the large green sign hanging on the side of Osborne’s Cleaners was an icon burning above 12th Street in Portsmouth. Last year it was extinguished when a powerful wind storm damaged the historic sign and it was removed. After nearly a year-and-a-half, the sign has been repaired and replaced, and owner Michael Osborne said it’s better than ever.

“We had to have it redone and remade. It’s all new composites. It’s more modern science and a lot more lightweight. It’s not as heavy as (the only sign) that was made out of steel,” Osborne said. “This used to have neon on it, and we put neon on one side of it with the thinking that we don’t need it on both. But we might put it on the other side so it will light up.”

Osborne’s Cleaners opened in 1960 and was the first all glass-front building in Portsmouth, Michael Osborne said. Today, he said, there are still only two, including his. So when the classic sign was damaged during the wind storm in January 2012, the community lost of piece of its history.

“I originally was not going to put the sign back. I was going to put a modern sign up. But we had some many people call and stop in, customers asked about that sign,” Osborne said.

He said the lighter composite and stronger brackets should hold the sign onto the building for another 50 years.

Osborne’s Cleaners is located at 12th and Lincoln, on 52 West, in Portsmouth.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.


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