The West Hollywood Virginia Court Motel Diver neon art has been installed and is now fully lit at the top of a long stairway outside the West Hollywood Park Aquatic Center. The lighting of the neon art is part the massive West Hollywood Park renovation that is coming closer to completion at the end of this month.
The lights for the West Hollywood Park sign above the Aquatic Center still need some work. The letters are not fully lit yet. Some of the lights that do work currently flicker, but like the neon Virginia Court Motel Diver, the letters will shine bright above the new West Hollywood Park by the time the park is complete.
The construction of the new West Hollywood Park is expected to be done by the end of this month, however the new park still has several months before its grand opening due to inspections and other finishing touches.
The four-level, 75,000-square-foot Aquatic and Recreation Center will feature two rooftop swimming pools, including a competition pool and a recreational pool, and a multi-sport court with bleacher seating and scoreboards that will accommodate a variety of sports. The building will also feature five community meeting rooms and one conference room, City of West Hollywood Parks and Recreation staff offices, a Tiny Tot program classroom, a public access television studio, lockers, and additional parking.
The West Hollywood Virginia Court Motel Diver neon art was installed at her new home on August 10, 2021. She was strapped to a giant crane and lifted her to the top of the staircase where construction workers caught her and carefully secured her to her original base.
The WeHo Neon Diver was on display on Santa Monica Boulevard for the past five years. She was under the care of RLA Conservation of Art and Architecture, an art restoration service based out of Los Angeles.
The Virginia Court Motel Diver is a replica of a sign that was originally built in 1950 for the Virginia Court Motel in Meridian, Mississippi. The owner of the motel, Ike J. Davis, named the property after his daughter. In 2000, the motel was demolished, and the original sign was rescued by Mike Gambone. In 2002, the Diver was shipped to Mark “The Neon Man” Jamison in Virginia for restoration and display. In 2006 the Diver was restored again by Flexflume Sign Company. And, then finally in 2008, the diver was loaned to the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale, CA for display at their temporary location in Downtown Los Angeles.
The West Hollywood Virginia Court Motel Diver is a reproduction of the original sign, fabricated by Federal Heath, and was included in the City’s on route – 66 lights exhibition on Santa Monica Boulevard in 2010, in collaboration with the Museum of Neon Art. The neon sign is a part of the City’s Urban Art Collection.
That neon diver is owned by the city of West Hollywood. After being in storage for several years, the sign was temporarily installed in 2015 next to the West Hollywood Pool.
In 2014, a second replica of the Neon Diver was built for MONA and installed on the roof of the museum in Glendale
The history of the Neon Diver exhibition throughout the city of West Hollywood is as follows:
- 2010 on route 66 exhibition on Santa Monica Boulevard
- 2015 647 N San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood Park
- 2016-2021 8400 block of Santa Monica Boulevard
- 2021 West Hollywood Aquatic and Recreation Center
To learn more about WeHo Arts, click here.