Historic signs in San Jose, CA

These local signs have stood the test of time.

A neon sign of a dancing pig next to the words "Pure Pork Sausage" and "Stephen's Meat Products."

This little piggy has gone wee wee we — since the 1950s.

Photo via @angelhaus1

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Hey SJtoday readers — we know that you love hearing about San Jose’s incredible historic landmarks. Today, we’re zooming in and highlighting some historic signs that most San Joseans will recognize by sight. 👀

A modern neon sign for "Western Appliance", with an arrow pointing to "parking at rear."

“Western Appliance... Making life much easier for you.”

Photo via Keith Rakow

📺 Western Appliance

Originally founded in 1873, this furniture + home appliance business moved to San Jose in the 1930s, and added its modern, neon sign in 1962.

Initially, the sign’s lights were so bright, it caused several accidents on Highway 17. Despite safety adjustments, the lights were later dismantled after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. 💡⁠

Western Appliance closed its doors in 2020 after 147 years of business, but the sign still stands to this day.

A GIF of a neon sign for "Stephen's Meat Products" with a dancing pig on it.

Cha cha real smooth...

Video via @agelhaus1

🐷 Stephen’s Meat Products

This not-so-vegan sign once stood next to Stephen Pizzo’s sausage plant in the 1950s. During its 63 years of business, many of its sausage links and hot dogs made their way to local ballparks, restaurants, and grocery stores. 🌭

Though the Diridon Station-adjacent plant was demolished in 2007, the beloved, dancing pig sign avoided the chop, and its neon lights were restored in the last year.

On Oct. 1, 2022, the sign took a dance break — being carefully removed ahead of construction for Google’s Downtown West development. This sign will soon be re-lit + displayed at History Park until this little piggy can go wee wee wee, all the way home within Downtown West.

A derelict theater with a vintage sign and marquee.

Could this historic sign see a second act?

Photo via Keith Rakow

🎥 Burbank Theater

Built in 1949, this Art Moderne building stood as a testament to the golden age of cinema, with Burbank neighborhood residents citing its towering, angular sign + marquee.

Though it’s sat empty since 2019, many locals have called to preserve the Burbank Theater’s historic architecture + iconic sign. In January 2022, the building was purchased for $1.6 million, and since then, its future remains uncertain.

Do you want to know the story behind other memorable San Jose signs? Let us know.

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