In its history of almost 100 years, the lights have been on and the lights have been off at the Western Auto building. Currently, it's off once again.
Kansas City Councilwoman Jolie Justus said the homeowner's association at the Western Auto Lofts reached out to her office in January. "They sent us an email and said that they were looking for any sort of resources either locally or nationally to get the money that they needed to light the sign up," Justus said. "This is a private building, and so obviously when you've got a private building, it should be private funds to take care of the maintenance and the infrastructure needs. At the same time, with something that's so uniquely Kansas City, we would love to be able to help point them in the right direction."
We talked to Elizabeth Rosin, a local historic preservationist about the value of a sign that iconic to the Kansas City skyline. "I don't know that you can quantify it but think of how you see it used. You see it on post cards, in beautiful photos, you see it on T-shirts. You know, to me it's really retro. It's got that vintage look in the way that the little lights go around the arrow and light up. It's a throwback in a really good way."
Justus wants to help spread the word in an effort to help the HOA find the funds it needs whether it be through grants or a community-wide fundraising effort.
Both the property manager and HOA declined to be interviewed for this story.
Dia Wall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.