Representatives from Knox Heritage and Regas Property LLC gathered at the Regas Building on North Gay Street Wednesday to recognize contributions made from the Knox Heritage ‘Save Our Signs” grant program in restoring the iconic downtown sign.
Regas Property LLC received a $2,250 Knox Heritage Save Our Signs grant to restore the iconic sign that is atop the Regas building in downtown Knoxville. The Regas logo was installed on the building in May 1969 by Cummings and Company. In April 2011 the sign was damaged by a severe hail storm, breaking the sign’s glass neon tubes. The restoration was performed by Allen Sign of Knoxville. Restoration included replacing the neon tubes, repairing the wiring and transformers and painting the steel structure that supports the letters. Additionally, the wording RESTAURANT became SQUARE using 5 of the original porcelain enamel background reflectors and adding a Q.
In 2010, JFG Coffee and Knox Heritage announced a new joint initiative called Save Our Signs. The initiative was intended to help preserve East Tennessee’s endangered historic signs that add both texture and a sense of place to our communities. JFG and Reily Foods had donated $15,000 to start the SOS fund. The donation was generated from purchases of JFG Coffee in grocery stores and in restaurants throughout the Knoxville area between August 24 and December 31, 2010. The grant program has assisted with several sign restorations in Knoxville, Harriman, and Clinton.
The SOS fund is administered by Knox Heritage and covers Knox County as well as the 15 surrounding counties (Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier, and Union). The Save Our Signs program is currently seeking donors to replenish funding for the program. If you would like to assist with this effort, please contact Knox Heritage at 865-523-8008. More information on the Save Our Signs program can be found at www.knoxheritage.org/our-work.