SHELTON (AUDIO) — Sunday marked the end of an era in downtown Shelton. Shelton Neon Project founder Forest Cooper and volunteer Justin Cowling disassembled the Ming Tree Restaurant sign, which had been in place since the 1960’s.

The former Chinese American restaurant at 432 West Railroad Avenue will soon be home to a new Irish pub, “Wilde Irish Pub” owned by Jim and Nikki Boad.

Shelton Neon Project, re-illuminated five historic neon signs in downtown Shelton, including the Ming Tree Restaurant sign back in 2011. Cooper said the Shelton Neon Project’s original purpose was to help maintain the spirit of classic hometown Shelton.

In 2011, the sign was completely rewired with new transformers, repainted and glass repaired.

On Sunday, Copper and Cowling dissembled the sign, which weighed a couple hundred pounds and took more than two hours to take down.

Cooper, a former neon glass artist and current co-owner of cooper studios with his wife Amy,  said neon signs are extremely fragile to take care of. He said the next step is to safely put the sign in proper storage.

Cooper said the sign is not for sale, and that he’s still circulating ideas of how he wants to rejuvenate and showcase the sign in the near future.

Cooper said those interested in following the Ming Tree sign’s future are encouraged to follow the Shelton Neon Project on facebook.

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