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Neon Survey
Harley Davidson Cafe

Description of sign(s)

1. Name: Harley Davidson Cafe

2. Owner: Marc Packer

3. Address: 3725 S. Las Vegas Blvd. 740-4555

3b. Additional Site Details: Just north of the Tourist center the Harley Davidson café sits on the corner of Harmon and Las Vegas Blvd, facing west, with the corner pointing to the northwest. This properties exterior signage consists of two wall marquee wall signs on the west and north faces of the building, a small hanging sign above the entrance, a tall north/south facing pylon sign on the south end of the concrete courtyard that comprises the front of the property. A giant three-dimensional sculpture of a Harley Davidson motorcycle is integrated into the structure of the building to appear as if it is bursting out of the northwest corner of the building. Above the motorcycle is a marquee cabinet advertising for the café.

4. Condition: Structure 5 Surface 5 Lighting 5

Notes: See description

5. Form: plyon, fasica

6. Specfic Description: On the west and north faces of the building, "Harley Davidson Café" is spelled in a continuous channel design, only being interrupted by the break between the rest of the text and the word "Café." This text is supported by a sleek, black, steel cabinet, that mimmicks the style of font used for the logo. The letters are crafted of red, shallow, steel channel letters, with white neon around the border as well as red neon on the interior. Standing on the South end of the property the pylon sign is reminiscent of old roadside pole signs, for it is mostly pole. The faceted pole is finished in polished stainless steel giving it highly metallic finish. At the top of the sign a sculpted marquee cabinet holds the advertisement for the café. The top portion of the cabinet is the Harley Davidson text logo, supported by an inverted triangle shape, with two lengths running along the underside of the text. The design for the letters is the same as that found on the buildings wall signs with white neon outlining the text, with red neon on the interior. The cabinet itself, without the text, is bordered with red neon, illuminating the highly polished surface of the cabinet. Underneath the Harley Davidson text on the outstretched arms the text "Las Vegas" is spelled in small, black, channel letters with white neon on the interior. Inside the inverted triangle shape created by the cabinet, is another inverted red triangle created by an open channel pan. Cutting across the triangle is channel letters, which spell the word "café" painted white on the interior. This text is filled with white neon. The pole continues above the cabinet a short distance. Along the length of the pole, "V" shaped channels repeat, forming a sort of directional sign pointing toward the ground. The channels are filled with tubes of red neon. These chase each other downward pointing toward the plaza and a small blurb of text painted at eye level in red paint. The phrase reads "The best BBQ in Las Vegas," in all caps. The text is then overlaid with red neon. The cabinet on the top of the pylon is repeated over the giant replica motorcycle, facing northwest, upon the northwest face of the wall. The neon scheme is the same as the pylon sign but the "café text" is filled with incandescent bulbs. Beneath the motorcycle, and directly over the door, a small backlit version of the northwest wall above head height.

7. Type of Display: neon, incandescent, backlit

8. Media: steel

9. Non-neon treatments: graphics

10. Animation: chasing, flashing, oscillating

Notes: The V-shaped red channels on the silver main pylon chase each other downward toward the ground. The main text on the pylon animates as well. The letters light up one at a time with red neon from left to right as the arrows continue to chase downward. The logo/text sign located above the giant replica of the Harley Davidson, animate as well. The incandescent bulbs which fill the text, spelling the name of the establishment, oscillate, steady burn, then shut off, and then restarting the sequence. The letters that spell café on the lower portion of the sign animate in concert and with the same sequence as the main text.

11. Environment: Harmon and Las Vegas Boulevard plays host to the Aladdin, which includes the Blue Note jazz and blues club. The Harley Davidson Café's sun drenched patio creates the west façade while it stretches east down Harmon to face the Blue Note. This orientation actually creates an intimate feel to the street, seemingly separated from the strip.

Artistic Context

1. Manufacturer: Mikhon Lighting and sign

2. Designer: Roger Pratt

3. Date of Installation: 1999

4. Date(s) of any major redesign/move: n/a

5. Thematic Influence: The theme of the exterior revolves around the design of the Harley Davidson motorcycle. The slightly italicized Impact text is reminiscent of the text seen on the motorcycles' fuselages. The vertical pylon sign is clearly influenced by roadside, marquee pylon signs, treated in a material also reminiscent of the steel beasts. The exposed metal exterior of the poles can only be associated with the aesthetic so commonly associated with the vehicles.

6. Artistic Significance: Similar to properties that are representative of everyday establishments such as McDonald's and Walgreen's, the Harley Davidson is representative of the themed restaurant, catered to a family environment. It too is an everyday occurrence, of a café, dressed with a theme to attract patrons, as well as survive and fit it in the context Las Vegas Blvd. Even though the themed restaurant is a popular idea abroad, The Harley Davidson fits in with its partners in the themed café industry such as the NASCAR Café, and Planet Hollywood. Many restaurants among the casinos are themed but, there are only a few that are independently represented with their own signage. The giant replica of the Harley Davidson is also in the tradition of other giant Casino mascots throughout local history. Such mascots could include The Coin King, Mr. O' Lucky, and the original Aladdin sculpture.

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Last modified Monday, 05-Apr-2010 18:39:56 UTC