The letters are changing, but the message remains the same. The iconic neon Budweiser sign atop the eight-story Bevo building at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in St. Louis is starting to be dismantled so an updated version can be installed. During the next several weeks a large crane will swap the new for old letters on the roof. "We've got the (new) letters loaded off the truck and in the next couple of days we'll start taking down the old Budweiser letters," said brewery senior general manager Jeff Pitts.
Weather will play a part in the progress of the $500,000 sign renovation. They're aiming for a window of four to five weeks. The current sign was erected in 1979 and is 150 feet wide with 15-foot-high letters, except for the "B" which is 18 feet. The steel frame holding the letters will continue to be used.
The 1979 version replaced a sign built in the 1940s. The new sign features LED technology. It will be brighter, easier to maintain and use 60 percent less power. "We're preserving more than just a sign. It's part of St. Louis, representing the bond between Budweiser and its deep roots in this community," Pitts said. Options are being explored to preserve and display the old neon letters.
"We're not exactly sure how yet, but we're developing that approach," Pitts said. "We're not going to chop them up and throw them in the landfill."