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Restoring Havana’s Classic Neon Signs

In the 1940s and ‘50s, the streets of Havana glowed with neon. Then, thousands of multicolored signs illuminated Cuba’s capital. But in the 1960s, the neon signs became difficult and expensive to maintain. Slowly, they were taken down or shut off and left to decay. But all was not lost, and the city’s neon is beginning to shine once more—thanks to artist Kadir López Nieves. Sign by sign, he is painstakingly restoring Havana’s glowing legacy to its former glory. Along with a skilled group of enthusiasts, Nieves is helping bring color and light back to this historic city.

This Great Big Story was made in partnership with Bulleit’s #FrontierWorks ( Please do not forward to those under the legal drinking age. Please drink responsibly.


This story is a part of our Frontiers series, where we bring you front and center to the dreamers, pioneers, and innovators leading society at the cutting edge. Let us take you along for a trip to the oft-imagined but rarely accomplished.

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