Downtown Plaza

Gallup, New Mexico

  • Joey Harrison 8y

    Rotosphere -- interesting. I'll add that as a tag too.
  • Debra Jane Seltzer 8y

    Here's this sign being taken down in March for "restoration" in Albuquerque. But since the neon sign was replaced with a plastic box sign, I have my doubts that this baby will ever return.
  • Joey Harrison 8y

    Thanks for another interesting link. Scroll down a bit, folks, to see the story and photo on that page. Let me know, Debra, if you hear that the sign has been put back in place.
  • loungelistener 8y

    Actually, they don't use car motors, they use the differential from a car (rear axle) to spin the two halves. I've heard it was an old Ford model used in most of them. I've got a shot of the Moriarty, NM one here.
  • loungelistener 8y

    You might enjoy this video. It's about New Mexico’s neon-sign restoration program for Route 66 businesses.
  • Debra Jane Seltzer 8y

    The guy that invented and built these signs said the car parts thing is a myth. He said he used three gears and a motor to operate these signs in the same manner as a differential -- but the parts were NOT from cars. He built approx. 230 of these signs from 1961 til the early 1970s. Only about 20 of them are still around.
  • Joey Harrison 8y

    So who is it? Is he still in the biz?
  • Debra Jane Seltzer 8y

    He's in his 70s now & retired -- W.D. "Wild Dog" Milks. He's got records for every Roto-Sphere that he ever made/sold. His name needs to go down in history someplace.
  • Debra Jane Seltzer 8y

    Here's the latest report on the Gallup Roto-Sphere. It is at the Albuquerque sign shop where the Moriarty sign was restored. I spoke with them today and they are waiting for funding to start work on it. Restoring these babies ain't cheap -- around $10,000-$15,000 is the going rate. The restoration will eventually happen and the plan is to reinstall it at a different shopping center in Gallup.
  • Joey Harrison 8y

    Thanks for the update. I'm wondering: Is the Downtown Plaza sign still there, even though the rotosphere is gone?
  • Debra Jane Seltzer 8y

    I didn't think to ask if the neon sign was trashed. It's definitely not up and it seems unlikely that it will be restored esp. since the plastic box sign is there now. I'll try to find out what became of it.
  • Colagrl (Susan B.) 8y

    I was telling my mom the story on this issue - and she said that probably the sign was at the local sign shop in Gallup - I can't remember the company name, but I'll ask her when I talk to her next time.
  • Debra Jane Seltzer 8y

    It's actually at the shop in Albuquerque right now. See my comment at the bottom of Joey's other photo of it:
    Uptown & Downtown Plazas by Joey Harrison
  • Alan C of Marion,IN 6y

    I managed to get a night shot in 1992.

    NM, Gallup-Downtown Plaza
  • Joey Harrison 6y

    Nice shot, Alan.
  • Left-Handed Color Blind Photographer 4y

    I'm jealous you got a shot of this before Gallup tore it down.
  • Jeremy King 4y

    There used to be one on Brighton seafront in the UK-used to scare the hell out of me when it moved around
  • Joey Harrison 4y

    I've not heard of one on other side of the Atlantic before. I wonder if there are others. Debra, do you know?
  • Debra Jane Seltzer 4y

    Yes, I have a photo about halfway down my page of the Roto-Sphere in Brighton. That one is safely in storage. A few others were shipped outside the US: Sweden (1), Mexico (1), and Canada (3). The history of these signs and all the remaining examples:
  • Left-Handed Color Blind Photographer 4y

    Debra Jane Seltzer You are certainly an expert on these rotospheres. Loved the links you posted.
19 faves
Taken on March 19, 2006
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