In Milwaukee History

'Member this guy? (PHOTO: Adam Levin)

Help bring home the Goldmann's sign

Personally, the closing of Goldmann's Department Store was a huge loss for me. Although I grew up on the East Side, my parents and I often ventured to Mitchell Street to browse the unmatchable collection of wares – from lamps to candy to muumuus – or to eat at the lunch counter located, oddly, in the very back corner of the first floor of the store.

In 2001, on my first day at OnMilwaukee as a full-time writer, OnMilwaukee publisher Andy Tarnoff asked me what I wanted to write for my first OnMilwaukee story as a "legit" staff member. I knew immediately. (Note that the story reran in 2005 and that OnMilwaukee's page design has changed so many times over the years that the photos are no longer embedded.)

In 2007, the beloved department store closed its doors. In 2015, the building underwent major renovations and the sign was sold to the National Save the Neon Signs Museum, located in Minot, N.D.

Milwaukee's Adam Levin, a photographer and historian, was instrumental in sealing the deal at the time. Recently, Levin learned that the owner of the sign is willing to sell it for $2,000.

"If I raise enough money, the sign will be delivered back to Milwaukee on a truck where it will be displayed for the public to see," says Levin.

Levin plans to start a crowdfunding page to raise money, but for now has a Facebook page to determine how many people are interested in contributing to this as well as to further communicate his thoughts and plans. To find out more, "like" the Old Milwaukee Facebook page, which is hosted by Levin.

"I'm glad the sign was saved two years ago, but it's time for it to come back. I believe there's more support now for its return," says Levin.


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