In 1974, the face of Kings Cross changed for Sydneysiders. It may not be obvious today but in the mid-sixties Sydney’s famous William Street was lined with a blinding array of neon signs. Glittering logos all perched on soon-to-be demolished buildings.
The 1974 Coca-Cola billboard featured a weather update, alongside other Coca-Colaadvertising panels. The Coca-Cola sign created an unmistakable landmark, one that defined the area that quickly became known as ‘The Gateway to the Cross’.
The cars, the hair and the fashion may have changed, but the Kings Cross Coke sign remained familiar and loved. It stood as a physical symbol of the long-term, working relationship between two companies ― Coca-Cola and signage company Claude Neon. For more than 40 years, Claude Neon have fabricated, repaired and tended to the sign.
“It’s an amazing location, the area’s biggest corner,” says Site Manager, Thomas Lang. “The whole area is being revitalised and we are going to keep the biggest sign fresh and new too.”
The neon has been replaced by more than two kilometres of rope LED lighting, the background will be rebuilt and a new computer will take control. Previously controlled by a switching system the size of a van, the new controls are barely larger than a mobile phone.
The refurbishment also reflects Coca-Cola’s strong commitment to sustainablity. The new LEDs use 60% less power; saving energy, money and the environment. While Coca-Cola has saved the classic Spencerian script letters, the rest of the sign will be reused, repurposed and recycled wherever possible.
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