Iconic Rainier 'R' returns to Old Rainier Brewery

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by KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on October 25, 2013 at 5:32 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 25 at 8:04 AM

SEATTLE -- A Seattle landmark has returned to the city's skyline. 

The new and improved iconic Rainier "R" returned to its old perch on top of the Old Rainier Brewery Thursday night. During the lighting ceremony, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn cut the ceremonial ribbon and watched as they flipped the switch on the giant neon sign.

“The ‘R’ will return to its rightful place,” said Mayor McGinn.

The new giant "R" was designed by Western Neon, based in Seattle. Although it's a replica of the original "R," designers wanted to make it look just like the original, with some changes.

The sign is 12 feet tall, like the old one, but weighs significantly less because it is made of aluminum. At night, the original sign only lit up on one side, but the new one has lights on both sides.

The sign also uses LED bulbs, which the designers say will only need to be replaced every five to seven years.

“It is very nostalgic. It reminds me of my childhood. I use to drive by here every day when I was a kid and this brings me back,” said Seattle resident Ruta Biteman.

The iconic “R” was removed in 2000 when Tully’s Coffee took over the building and replaced it with a green “T.”

When it comes to the cost of the sign, Pabst Brewing Company didn't want to give an exact figure. A spokesperson said it's tough to put a pricetag on a landmark like the Rainier "R."

KING 5's Adam Mertz and Liza Javier contributed to this report.

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