Push to Restore Mesa's Diving Lady Sign - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Push to Restore Mesa's Diving Lady Sign

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A landmark neon sign at a Mesa hotel was knocked to the ground during a storm this month -- but members of the community want it to shine brightly once more.

The 'diving lady' sign was put up back in the 60s, and those who live in Mesa say it's a part of history.

Tourists came to Mesa from all over the country to take a picture in front of the sign. For 50 years, the diving lady lit up the night sky in Mesa.

But it came crashing down on October 5.

"Without this sign it's not Mesa," says Olivia Alvarado. She used to watch the diving lady from her window at the Starlite Motel -- now the 78-foot sign is just a crumpled mess in the parking lot. "I've been saying when are they going to pick her up."

The owner of Starlite is pushing to get the sign restored. But it could take around $80,000 to fix the sign and insurance might not pay for it.

Another obstacle -- the city of Mesa no longer allows signs that are more than 12 feet tall.

"It would be nice to get that piece back up, it's just a great piece," says Larry Graham, who owns Graham Neon in Mesa. He is part of the movement to help restore the sign. Graham was trained by artist Paul Millet, who built the sign.

If the city believes that special circumstances are involved, they could allow the diving lady to be put back.

Graham says she's a glowing piece of art and history -- even if she is made out of neon.

A historic preservation group in Mesa is also getting involved, collecting donations to help pay for the sign.
 

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