January 25, 2013
It’s a landmark for those who call St. Louis home, a beacon and marvel for out-of-towners who visit and visible to air travelers flying over the city. Now, the Budweiser sign that sits atop the Bevo building on the Anheuser-Busch St. Louis brewery grounds will be renovated to retain its famous classic style and design, but in a new, brighter version that uses LED technology and will be better able to withstand exposure to the elements. The new sign will be illuminated with Budweiser red and retain the same signature block typeface of the existing Budweiser sign – the font that also was used on Budweiser packaging the year the sign was first erected.
On Monday, Jan. 28, the process of dismantling the 150-foot, 14,000-pound structure will begin. During this phase the Budweiser letters will go dark. Once installation of the new sign is complete, Anheuser-Busch will “flip the switch” and bring the beloved sign back to illuminate the St. Louis community.
“The Budweiser sign has stood over the brewery for more than 30 years and has proudly represented Anheuser-Busch and its flagship brand, Budweiser,” said Jeff Pitts,general manager of the Anheuser-Busch St. Louis brewery. “But we’re preserving more than just a sign. It’s a part of St. Louis,representing the bond between Budweiser and its deep roots in this community. We’re excited to begin the process of being able to keep this icon shining for years to come. It will look exactly the same, but will rely on better and more energy-efficient technology.”
Pending any weather delays, the entire project will take four to five weeks to complete. The new sign will be the same size and will also consist of steel framing and aluminum supports. The project exceeds $500,000 and will include the use of St. Louis-based laborers throughout the installation. Adults can view regular updates of the transformation process on Anheuser-Busch’s Facebook page.
According to Anheuser-Busch records, the original Budweiser sign “has proportions as great as the name it illuminates.” The “B” alone is 18 feet tall and weighs 2,400 pounds. The remaining letters are 15 feet tall and weigh about 1,600 pounds each, although the “I” is the lightest, weighing 450 pounds. When it was lit for the first time in early 1979, it replaced a 35-year-old Anheuser-Busch sign. A custom neon sign has been on top of the Bevo building for more than six decades.