A sign of the past shines over Highland Park

Photos by Martha Benedict

Highland Park residents on Tuesday night celebrated the restoration of another historic sign above Figueroa Street.  The neon and opal glass Manning’s Coffee Store sign was relighted as part of a program to restore some of the vintage signage, including the green and white Highland Theatre sign, which was restored last year.  Nicole Possert with the Highland Park Heritage Trust provided a bit more history on Manning’s and it’s now restored sign:

Manning’s Coffee was the precursor to today’s Starbucks.  With a large west coast operation from 1908 – 1984, there were 20 Manning’s locations throughout the City.  In 1936, Manning’s opened a Highland Park location in a newly constructed building yet moved this rooftop sign, constructed in 1933, from their location in Hollywood that was expanding and being renovated.

The rooftop sign has sat dark for decades after Manning’s closed but was never removed.  This sign is the only Manning’s signs left standing in the City.  In the 1990s, the sign was vandalized and most of the opal glass letters were stolen.  Through a wonderful coincidence and the network and dedication of historic commercial sign advocates, like the Museum of Neon Art, the original opal glass letters were recovered and brought back to Highland Park.  Amazingly, all 22 original glass letters will be cleaned and reinstalled in the original sign.

Inspired by the historic sign restoration, La Cazuelas restaurant, which now occupies the Manning’s storefront,  had its neon, star-shaped sign redone in time for Tuesday’s relighting by the same team that worked on the Manning’s sign.

Related Story:

  • Manning’s Coffee sign shines again. Patch


  1. With the relighting of the Manning’s sign as well as the Highland Theatre sign — not to mention the adaptive reuse of Chicken Boy — Highland Park is just awesome.

  2. Hooray for Las Cazuelas! What a wonderful thing – 2 signs restored and re-lit!

  3. Yes! I think it’s really cool that Highland Park’s historical features are gradually reemerging.

  4. Congrats and THANK YOU to all involved! It looks beautiful! Another old sign lovingly preserved and brought back to life!

  5. To La Cazuelas, much respect.

  6. thanks for this! i went out tonight and snapped a few pictures. i will need to go back when i have a better coat so i’m not shivering http://www.flickr.com/photos/vampiress144/sets/72157628874776913/

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