Nostalgic “Tempe Signs” on exhibit at Tempe History Museum

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An exhibit at the Tempe History Museum features notable signs from the city’s most-loved businesses.

The “Tempe Signs” exhibit includes Big Surf, House of Tricks, Monti’s La Casa Vieja, Rúla Búla and more.

Aubrey Feyrer, an ASU graduate student and Assistant Curator of the “Tempe Signs” exhibit, and Josh Roffler, Curator of Collections at the Tempe History Museum, joined Arizona Horizon to provide all of the details on the exhibit.

Tempe History Museum has been collecting signs from local businesses for years. The museum also reached out to businesses that are closing, hoping they’ll donate items to the museum’s collection.

“Over the number of years, we’ve collected these cool business signs. It really just made sense to finally gather them all up and put them all out and celebrate them,” Roffler said.

The signs often came with decades of wear. The signs required special cleaning and support from niche experts in the Arizona community. This was particularly evident in handling and repairing neon signage.

“A lot of the signs came in either in not great or mixed condition. It was a combination of needing to do some behind-the-scenes touching up in the museum, cleaning and wiping down,” Feyrer said.

“Tempe Signs” is the first exhibit Feyrer has been a part of from beginning to end. He researched each sign thoroughly. Feyrer was responsible for picking up the artifacts from local community members and assisted in the installment at the museum.

“Working with the community and finding these signs and being able to display them was a brilliant project for me to take a part in,” Feyrer said.

The exhibit opened to the public on September 14. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., it is free to visitors.

Aubrey Feyrer, ASU graduate student and Assistant Curator of the "Tempe Signs" exhibit; Josh Roffler, Curator of Collections at Tempe History Museum

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