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Should the Blue Flame be restored?


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#1 johnlp

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 12:56 PM

You all know me well enough to know that I have a passion for the vintage roof signs. All of which are now gone with the exception of our old friend The Blue Flame.
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Of all the old signs in Downtown Ft. Worth, this one would seem to be the easiest one to restore………(or would it)?
For those of you who might not remember the Blue Flame in its prime, it was a "bling-bling" sign! rotflmao.gif
..meaning, it not only was illuminated at night and rotated, it "flickered" like a flame...almost a mesmerizing, bordering on psychedelic, display of blue and white neon.
We know we can never have the CNB clock again or the WSL (SLC pre 1973) forecast sign and let us not forget the red and white Conoco inverted triangle surrounded by the Continental Life red neon letters. smile.gif
I would think that "ol' Blue" would be sort of an eternal flame of the Ft. Worth Skyline, a sign and symbol maybe worth restoration. Thoughts???

mellow.gif

Am I simply romanticizing a worn out broken piece of blue metal?

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#2 ghughes

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 03:07 PM

QUOTE
Am I simply romanticizing a worn out broken piece of blue metal?
Of course you are!
But I'm right with you there.

Who owns it? What's wrong with it?


#3 johnlp

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 03:22 PM

QUOTE(ghughes @ Mar 22 2006, 03:07 PM)  

QUOTE
Am I simply romanticizing a worn out broken piece of blue metal?
Of course you are!
But I'm right with you there.

Who owns it? What's wrong with it?


City of Ft. Worth Water Department now owns the building (I guess we can call the flame a "water drop" now)!
rotflmao.gif

I'm sure if it was powered up, nothing would happen. An access panel on the upper side edge of the flame has been open for some time. For many years the panel door hung open, now the panel is gone (might have come off during the tornado).

It looks like most of the neon tubes are busted and no telling if the rotation mechanism even works.
Actually, it looks quite simple in design. I'd like to get a close up of the internal workings of it.

My logic is that Dallas salvaged (actually replaced with a replica) the Pegasus on the magnolia building and MobilOil has long been gone from the building.
Why can't Ft. Worth salvage the former icon of Lone Star Gas?

In fact, I think (I could be wrong) that the only reason Dallas saved the Pegasus is because of the public out cry over the proposed removal many years ago.

Unless Ft. Worth voices a desire (so far just the two of us) I would imagine that the Blue Flame will be removed soon for being "an eyesore"! dry.gif

Then again, code compliance comes into the picture. Is it's current state compliant? Would it be compliant if it was operational again? Moreover, are the current owners willing to pay the cost of restoration OR would that be a city paid expense? wink.gif

I'd like to think this forum could be the catalyst to save it! cool.gif


#4 seurto

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 03:59 PM

You can add me to the list - I would hate to see all those icons gone. I'm not necessarily as big a fan as lot of you about rooftop signs, but the CNB clock and this flame are ones that really added to downtown IMO.

#5 johnlp

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 04:34 PM

Let's see if either John Robert's or Jack White can help with some historical facts.

I know the Clock came in 1957
Conoco was around 1962????
SLC (later WSL) around 1966.

I have photos that show the Blue Flame prior to the install of Conoco and SLC/WSL. So I guess what I want to know, is the Blue Flame older than the clock? If so, It would be the oldest if not, it would be the second oldest and last to survive!



"SAVE THE FLAME" biggrin.gif

#6 DrkLts

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 04:42 PM

shakehead.gif I'm feeling a little "blue" about the blue flame shakehead.gif

Would be nice to see it light up at least, I can live without it rotating. Again, it would be a nice sight to see at night.

#7 Urbndwlr

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 05:38 PM

QUOTE(DrkLts @ Mar 22 2006, 06:42 PM)  

shakehead.gif I'm feeling a little "blue" about the blue flame shakehead.gif

Would be nice to see it light up at least, I can live without it rotating. Again, it would be a nice sight to see at night.


I second that. I think it is a neat, old icon. Who would have thought that the blue flame would become even more appropriate in the early 21st century now that Fort Worth has developed a natural gas industry?


#8 RD Milhollin

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 06:53 PM

QUOTE(Urbndwlr @ Mar 22 2006, 07:38 PM)  

QUOTE(DrkLts @ Mar 22 2006, 06:42 PM)  

shakehead.gif I'm feeling a little "blue" about the blue flame shakehead.gif

Would be nice to see it light up at least, I can live without it rotating. Again, it would be a nice sight to see at night.


I second that. I think it is a neat, old icon. Who would have thought that the blue flame would become even more appropriate in the early 21st century now that Fort Worth has developed a natural gas industry?


Hmmm, maybe the flame could be the centerpiece of a public square, "Energy Plaza" on the now vacant block most recently occupied by the Landmark/CNB Building, and surrounded by the offices of various energy companies, most notably XTO. A landscaped park with a raised dias in the middle with the flame lit up and rotating in all it's once proud glory.

Nah, I suppose a 50 story office building would be better.

#9 johnlp

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 08:25 PM

Glad to see I am not the only one that likes "ol' Blue". smile.gif

#10 bburton

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 10:09 PM

QUOTE(johnlp @ Mar 22 2006, 08:25 PM)  

Glad to see I am not the only one that likes "ol' Blue". smile.gif


You've got the right Avatar for it. As I do for mine -- things distinctively Fort Worth, worth being passionate about.


#11 Brian Luenser

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 01:09 PM

Just can't be that expensive to get this flame lit up. I agree, doesn't have to rotate even. We really are missing a lot of our Fort Worth trademarks and can't let this one go.
www.fortworthview.com

#12 johnlp

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 01:19 PM

I might be mistaking when I said..
"it not only was illuminated at night and rotated, it "flickered" like a flame...almost a mesmerizing, bordering on psychedelic, display of blue and white neon."

I do know it was illuminated but I might be wrong on the "flickering" aspect. I do know that there was a sing in the Wedgewood Shopping Center back in the 60s and 70s that had a flame (a candle) that flickeded wildly. We could see it from my house off South Dr.

Was the Blue Flame "flashy" or was it staticly lit at night? It's been so darn long I can't remember!

Initialy I think I was correct the first time but after talking to my wife she said she did not ever recall it "flickering".

rolleyes.gif

#13 bailey

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 02:26 PM

QUOTE(johnlp @ Mar 23 2006, 01:19 PM)  

I might be mistaking when I said..
"it not only was illuminated at night and rotated, it "flickered" like a flame...almost a mesmerizing, bordering on psychedelic, display of blue and white neon."

I do know it was illuminated but I might be wrong on the "flickering" aspect. I do know that there was a sing in the Wedgewood Shopping Center back in the 60s and 70s that had a flame (a candle) that flickeded wildly. We could see it from my house off South Dr.

Was the Blue Flame "flashy" or was it staticly lit at night? It's been so darn long I can't remember!

Initialy I think I was correct the first time but after talking to my wife she said she did not ever recall it "flickering".

rolleyes.gif

If my memory serves me, the blue neon on the outside of the flame was timed to flicker on and off so that it looked like a flame. The sign at the Wedgwood Shopping Center was actually a natural gas torch on the top of the sign.


#14 johnlp

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 03:34 PM

WOW. I never knew they used a natural gas flame on the Wedgewood Sign. Must have predated me. The one I remember was metal with red & orange neon. I think it had the intials WW (Wedgewood) or WS (Wedgewood shopping center) or something to that effect.

Regarding "Ol' Blue", folks around the office here remember the flame "flicked" to some extent so memory has served me correct on that.

Still trying to determine its age, when it was installed, etc.

I think XTO should take a vested interest in this inconic symbol of their industry! biggrin.gif

#15 bailey

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 03:59 PM

QUOTE(johnlp @ Mar 23 2006, 03:34 PM)  

WOW. I never knew they used a natural gas flame on the Wedgewood Sign. Must have predated me. The one I remember was metal with red & orange neon. I think it had the intials WW (Wedgewood) or WS (Wedgewood shopping center) or something to that effect.

Regarding "Ol' Blue", folks around the office here remember the flame "flicked" to some extent so memory has served me correct on that.

Still trying to determine its age, when it was installed, etc.

I think XTO should take a vested interest in this inconic symbol of their industry! biggrin.gif


The shopping center was called Wedgwood Village. The sign with the torch was on the Wedgmont Circle N. side just across the street from the old Wot A Burger, not to be confused with What A Burger. We moved 3 blocks from there in 1958 and it was the first major shopping center built in Wedgwood. As a kid, I always thought the torch was a neat deal.


#16 johnlp

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 04:49 PM

QUOTE(bailey @ Mar 23 2006, 03:59 PM)  

QUOTE(johnlp @ Mar 23 2006, 03:34 PM)  

WOW. I never knew they used a natural gas flame on the Wedgewood Sign. Must have predated me. The one I remember was metal with red & orange neon. I think it had the intials WW (Wedgewood) or WS (Wedgewood shopping center) or something to that effect.

Regarding "Ol' Blue", folks around the office here remember the flame "flicked" to some extent so memory has served me correct on that.

Still trying to determine its age, when it was installed, etc.

I think XTO should take a vested interest in this inconic symbol of their industry! biggrin.gif


The shopping center was called Wedgwood Village. The sign with the torch was on the Wedgmont Circle N. side just across the street from the old Wot A Burger, not to be confused with What A Burger. We moved 3 blocks from there in 1958 and it was the first major shopping center built in Wedgwood. As a kid, I always thought the torch was a neat deal.


WV That was it! smile.gif


#17 John T Roberts

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 05:08 PM

You guys are bringing back all of my memories of old vintage signs. Does anyone remember the big "W" at Westcliff Center?

#18 bailey

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 05:20 PM

QUOTE(John T Roberts @ Mar 23 2006, 05:08 PM)  

You guys are bringing back all of my memories of old vintage signs. Does anyone remember the big "W" at Westcliff Center?


I remember it very well along with Worth Food Mart, the Fair, Moreland's Drug Store, and Bolen's Toy Palace among the many stores in that center.

#19 johnlp

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 05:50 PM

QUOTE(John T Roberts @ Mar 23 2006, 05:08 PM)  

You guys are bringing back all of my memories of old vintage signs. Does anyone remember the big "W" at Westcliff Center?


Indeed I do and it still exist in a local warehouse in town. I worked at the Piggly Wiggly back in the 80s and my Dad had his Real Estate office on the South West Corner.

You use to be able to get a burger, fries and a malt at Moreland's Drug Store and who can forget Dale's Barber Shop??

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#20 DrkLts

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 07:40 PM

QUOTE(bailey @ Mar 23 2006, 02:26 PM)  

If my memory serves me, the blue neon on the outside of the flame was timed to flicker on and off so that it looked like a flame.


Sure it wasn't just a bad neon tube? Some neon signs "flicker" right before they burn out
tongue.gif

#21 johnlp

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 09:07 PM

QUOTE(DrkLts @ Mar 23 2006, 07:40 PM)  

QUOTE(bailey @ Mar 23 2006, 02:26 PM)  

If my memory serves me, the blue neon on the outside of the flame was timed to flicker on and off so that it looked like a flame.


Sure it wasn't just a bad neon tube? Some neon signs "flicker" right before they burn out
tongue.gif


rotflmao.gif
Point well made! tongue.gif

#22 Willy1

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 11:07 AM

Count me in... I'd love to see FW's "Pilot Light" lit again!

#23 Buck

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 03:55 PM

Last time I drove through Ennis, the old 12-foot neon candle was still there from the Candlelite Drive In.

FYI, Candlelite was on Vickery at Forest Park, on the southeast corner by the railroad.



#24 Jack White

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 01:45 PM

JohnPuff...how about the neon flag?

Go to:

http://www.fortworth...tw/neonflag.jpg

Jack

#25 johnlp

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 01:58 PM

QUOTE(Jack White @ Mar 28 2006, 01:45 PM)  

JohnPuff...how about the neon flag?

Go to:

http://www.fortworth...tw/neonflag.jpg

Jack



newlaugh.gif newlaugh.gif newlaugh.gif
Oh my sweet Lord in heaven........................NO!
rotflmao.gif

#26 DrkLts

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 12:26 AM

QUOTE(Jack White @ Mar 28 2006, 01:45 PM)  

JohnPuff...how about the neon flag?

Go to:

http://www.fortworth...tw/neonflag.jpg

Jack


Yikes!!! ohmy.gif

#27 T&PLoftDweller

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 08:58 AM

Was just wondering about the fate of the blue flame the other day, and found this old post. Anyone have any more information on it? You'd think, with all of the natural gas activity in Fort Worth, that one of the gas companies would buy it or help restore it. This seems right up XTO's alley...

One issue is probably that it's not as visible since the elevated portion of I-30 doesn't run near it anymore. It will be visible from the west facing windows of the Omni though...

#28 Owen

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 02:19 PM

A little SoCal history might be in order here. When Anaheim Stadium (aka Edison Field) was fully enclosed to make room for the LA (now St. Louis) Rams, They were at sixes and sevens as to what do do with the old scoreboard, which was, by then, a landmark in itself. So they moved it--A-frame, Halo and all, out to the parking lot next to the 22 and turned it into a general advertising sign. I suggest that the owners of the old Blue Flame could do something similar with their landmark sign; heck, even beef it up with newfangled LEDs.

#29 sonny 2

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 05:27 PM

QUOTE (bailey @ Mar 23 2006, 03:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (johnlp @ Mar 23 2006, 01:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I might be mistaking when I said..
"it not only was illuminated at night and rotated, it "flickered" like a flame...almost a mesmerizing, bordering on psychedelic, display of blue and white neon."

I do know it was illuminated but I might be wrong on the "flickering" aspect. I do know that there was a sing in the Wedgewood Shopping Center back in the 60s and 70s that had a flame (a candle) that flickeded wildly. We could see it from my house off South Dr.

Was the Blue Flame "flashy" or was it staticly lit at night? It's been so darn long I can't remember!

Initialy I think I was correct the first time but after talking to my wife she said she did not ever recall it "flickering".

rolleyes.gif

If my memory serves me, the blue neon on the outside of the flame was timed to flicker on and off so that it looked like a flame. The sign at the Wedgwood Shopping Center was actually a natural gas torch on the top of the sign.

I could be wrong about this, but I seem to recall that the sign had an additional offset tip and it would alternate back and forth to vaguely simulate a flicker.

#30 Keller Pirate

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 06:19 PM

QUOTE (Owen @ Oct 31 2008, 03:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A little SoCal history might be in order here. When Anaheim Stadium (aka Edison Field) was fully enclosed to make room for the LA (now St. Louis) Rams, They were at sixes and sevens as to what do do with the old scoreboard, which was, by then, a landmark in itself. So they moved it--A-frame, Halo and all, out to the parking lot next to the 22 and turned it into a general advertising sign. I suggest that the owners of the old Blue Flame could do something similar with their landmark sign; heck, even beef it up with newfangled LEDs.


Moved next to the 57, you would have to get past 5 to get to 22. rolleyes.gif

#31 Owen

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 08:54 PM

Pardon me, I do get my freeways mixed up. Good thing I don't drive.




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