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Colt 499 PWP

Vivian Yan, Author

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...or is it heritage?

In spite of debates about the future of external light and neon signage, it is hard to deny neon's place in Hong Kong's history. Not only are the city's businesses and restaurants part of its cultural, social, and economic fabric, but so are the signs that indicate these establishments. As Hong Kong continues to grow in size and numbers, with near-constant construction and redevelopment, cultural historians and conservationists have fought to save historic buildings. However, historic neon signs are largely allowed to disappear. 

After 60 years of business, the Lung Moon Restaurant in the Wanchai area closed its doors in 2009. The restaurant had been open at its Johnston Road location since 1949, a lifespan witnessing nearly all of Hong Kong's post-war evolution. As the restaurant prepared for its closing and for the building to be torn down, plans were made for its neon sign to be replaced by a mall advertisement. The loss of the restaurant (which is still searchable on some popular travel websites) and its sign can be viewed as the disappearance of a type of living history. The restaurant was known for its convivial atmosphere and for the community of clients and workers, gathering together over dinners, dim sum, and mahjong. With the building's demolition and the neon sign's disappearance, those who were part of the restaurant will have it only in their memories.1 

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