Sign Museum honors first responders

The American Sign Museum is offering complimentary admission to local, active first responders and their families the weekend of March 31-April 2 in appreciation of their efforts to secure the Camp Washington neighborhood during the six-alarm fire that took place there earlier this month.

“The Museum is located on the same block as where the fire took place, giving the staff, our guests, and neighbors an alarming view,” said Cindy Kearns, museum director. “Even from a safe distance, it was apparent how dangerous the blaze really was for all involved. Our first responders were quick to secure the area, protecting the surrounding neighborhood, while being communicative and responsive to the museum’s concerns. This appreciation weekend is a small token of thanks to all those who put themselves at risk for our public safety.”

American Sign Museum, site of Friday cocktail party
The museum covers more than 100 years of American sign history and displays more than 700 signs and artifacts, making it the most comprehensive museum of its kind.

The appreciation weekend will take place during the Museum’s regular hours of 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 12-4 p.m. on Sunday.

Fire crews were still on the scene of the March 4 warehouse fire four days after it broke out. Two buildings on Arlington Avenue in Camp Washington were impacted by the fire. The flames from the six-alarm fire quickly spread and smoke that blew into the sky was visible for miles around. Cincinnati Fire Chief Michael Washington said the fire prompted the largest response in the city since the Queen City Barrel fire in 2004. About 170 firefighters were involved and the entire command staff of the city’s fire department came back into work.

Active first responders, including police, firefighters and EMS will receive complimentary admission for themselves and up to five family members upon their arrival to the museum.

Founded in 1999, the sign museum opened its doors to the public in spring 2005 at the Essex Studios in Walnut Hills. With the collection quickly outgrowing its rented space, the museum unveiled its permanent home on June 23, 2012, in a former clothing factory in Camp Washington, just northwest of downtown Cincinnati. The renovated building features 19,000 square feet of exhibit space, 28-foot ceilings able to accommodate sizable outdoor signs, a working neon shop, flexible event space, and an extensive archive of books, photos and documents reflecting the art, craft and history of sign-making.