2019 National Planning Conference

Preservation of Historic Signs

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 from 10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198145

Location: 2004

Add to My Log


  • Understand what makes a sign historic.
  • Learn about Burbank’s and San Francisco’s historic-sign programs.
  • Discover how to develop the framework for historic-sign policy and regulatory approaches.


Historic signs represent small businesses, neighborhood gathering places where generations have met to watch movies, drink martinis, buy groceries, and even park cars. The surviving historic signs that shine in the California landscape cut across almost all cultures and lifestyles. These signs are a bridge between the past and present. They often are community landmarks. What are the best practices to preserve and restore these neighborhood icons? The authors and photographers of "San Francisco Neon: Survivors and Lost Icons" look at two iconic signs in the Bay Area and the struggle to preserve and restore them. This session also investigates regulatory and policy approaches in San Francisco and Southern California jurisdictions. Learn more about historic sign, and images of some favorites are presented on Google Maps with feedback and discussion from the panel.

Session Speakers

James B. Carpentier, AICP
International Sign Association
Mesa, AZ

Lannette Schwartz
Historic Sign Conservation
Los Angeles, CA

Al Barna
San Francisco Neon/Historic Network
San Fransico

Randall Ann Homan
San Francisco Neon
San Francisco, CA