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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Times Sign Ready to Go Away Quietly

In Redwood City, there is a movement afoot to find some way to preserve the towering sign at Mel's Bowl on El Camino Real as a developer prepares to demolish the business. The sign, part and parcel of the old bowling alley, has been a Redwood City landmark for about 50 years. The feeling among preservationists is that the sign has some historic value. Maybe. But, perhaps not all that surprisingly, there doesn't appear to be a similar effort to retain the signature sign and its one-time digital clock/temperature indicator at the former San Mateo County Times property on Highway 101. In one way, it's rather sad. In another, well, life goes on. The Times, as a daily newspaper on the Peninsula, has faded away slowly. It is scheduled to lose its individual identity completely as of the morning of Nov. 2 when it is to be totally absorbed into the San Jose Mercury News. Four years ago, the newspaper, which traces its roots all the way back to 1889, abandoned its facilities on South Amphlett Boulevard and moved its editorial office to leased space at the corner of Ninth Avenue and South Claremont Street. The land was then sold. It was just a matter of time until the South Amphlett buildings, first opened in 1964, were razed. Now, the only thing left to tear down is the defunct sign. The clock, so to speak, is ticking.

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