Neon “tango dancers” sign will return to the Elmwood Village

Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A neon sign featuring moving tango dancers – once a favorite along the Elmwood Strip – will be stepping its way back to its original location.

The Buffalo City Arts Commission voted Thursday night to return the sign, which has been restored by NAS signs, back to the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Parkway.

“The nice thing about the tango dancers being there, is you have that boulevard feeling,” Buffalo City Arts Commission chair Catherine Gillespie said. “If you’re coming up Elmwood, you’ll be able to see the dancers dancing up Elmwood.”

The sign was created in 1982 as part of a “neon blue light” initiative on Elmwood Avenue.

Since it was taken down in 2015, Gillespie says there has been plenty of push from residents who wanted to see the sign put back up.

“I think people just think it’s festive and fun – these dancers move, and they’ll be dancing toward the street again,” she added. “For a good number of years, the neon lights were broken – the dancers were up, but they weren’t moving.”

It might be a little bit until the sign actually does go up. The building where it’s going – 976 Elmwood Ave. – is under development by Douglas Development.

“It’s hard to find a building that can handle something like this – this is ideal because they’re doing construction and they’ll have a space for it,” Gillespie said.

Works of public art, like the tango dancers, makes the city feel more like home, she added.

“I think that it’s important that we realize that art really does make the city feel more welcoming to people who live here and who visit,” Gillespie said. “We have all sorts of murals going up, art going up, I think it’s exciting what’s happening in the arts community here – we’ve had a lot of support for putting more art into the city.”

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