The first modern skyscraper in the US, the PSFS building was completed in 1932. An architectural first, the building, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Center City district, is listed as a National Historic Landmark. Atop the modern marvel were 2 sets of 26′ tall neon letters displaying the initials of the building’s owner, the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society (PSFS). White by day, and red neon by night, the letters could be viewed for 20 miles and would become a Philadelphia icon, serving as guidepost for generations of Philadelphians. When the Loews Hotel acquired the building, they acknowledged the regional significance of the sign, and agreed to keep the letters in place and illuminated. Philadelphia Sign was tasked with the job of servicing the massive letters by the new owner. However, when it became prohibitively expensive to maintain the existing old neon, Loews Hotel requested that Philadelphia Sign investigate cost saving, LED options.
After many mockups and field tests Philadelphia Sign developed a LED fixture which would replicate the look of the original neon, but also gave Loews the option of changing the color of the signs to whatever they chose. The LED retrofit was complete in early 2016 and the letters have been shining, service-free. Loews was approached recently by the City of Philadelphia about changing the color of the signs to blue while the NFL draft was in town. With a quick call from Loews to Philadelphia Sign, PSCO was able to make that change and for the first time in 84 years the iconic PSFS sign was changed to blue. The sign has since been changed back to its original red color, though PSCO is on stand-by for the next request from the city for another color change – possibly to celebrate a long-awaited championship for a local sports team?