Sights from the Rose Kennedy Greenway on a hot Fourth of July

PHOTO BY BILL BRETT
In addition to the crowds coming to view the installation of the classic neon signs, the Kennedy Greenway is a major draw for families who are looking to find a place to cool off on a hot summer night.

ROSE KENNEDY GREENWAY — The hot Fourth of July night pulled Bill Brett (and his camera) to the Rose Kennedy Greenway where he found a lot that caught his eye from the families of that were looking for a place for the kids to play while cooling off to the classic neon signs that are currently on display.

The first gallery is of the neon signs, part of the GLOW project, an installation of eight iconic neon signs from communities around the state. The signs are from the collection of Dave and Lynn Waller, who have devoted significant time and energy to preserving and documenting Massachusetts’ neon past. The exhibition is made possible by the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy and MASSHumanities.

“All of the signs you see in GLOW became landmarks in their neighborhoods and towns. Most were illuminated for decades, some for the full length of time that the company was in business. In a postwar landscape increasingly dominated by the automobile, highways and homogenous corporate architecture, handmade neon signs like the most of the signs on display here became distinctive landmarks,” wrote the GLOW exhibition’s consultant historian, Victoria Solan. “These glittering, creative neon signs were in some ways more memorable than ways than the ordinary buildings next to which they flashed, flapped and blinked. Neon signage may not have been an art form, but it was – and still is – a form of creative expression.”

All photos are by Bill Brett.

While at the Greenway on July 4th, Bill found these images of kids cooling off and enjoying themselves in the mist and water features along the open space.

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