145 S. Sixth Avenue, Tucson, AZ

The building at the corner of 6th Avenue and 12th Street in Tucson, Arizona, this vintage 1950s sign is called the “diving girl.”  At one time it advertised the pool for the historic Pueblo Hotel and Apartments, which was once the Willard Hotel. The building was constructed over two years, beginning in 1902. The Willard hotel became the Pueblo Hotel in 1944 and operated until 1984.

In 1993, the building renovation was completed. The pool was filled in. Up until recently, the building housed Piccarretta Davis law offices.  The word “refrigerated” was removed and replaced with the law firm name, spending over $20,000 to restore the neon sign.

The building is currently being converted into a salon and spa, which seems incongruent with its history and style. Thankfully, the neon sign is expected to stay right where it is, illuminating a small patch of the downtown streetscape.

Cook, owner of Cook & Co. Sign Makers, restored the Diving Lady and all the Pima Community College signs on  Drachman, with the exception of the Magic Carpet sign.  The original color scheme and design of the diving girl sign are unknown. During sanding of restoration, many layers of nonsensical colors were revealed. Cook had the chance to choose the design of her newly adorned bathing suit, and chose a green with white polka dots.

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reference: https://southernarizonaguide.com/tucsons-vintage-neon-signs-part-iii/, https://www.downtowntucson.org/2012/05/diving-lady-sign-is-alighted-and-well/
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