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Uptown Butte boutique brings a modern neon sign to Main Street

5518 Designs is sporting a new neon sign in Uptown Butte
New neon sign on Butte's Main Street
Historic photo of Uptown Butte
Posted at 7:44 AM, Jun 16, 2024

BUTTE — About a century ago, Main Street in Uptown Butte was brightly lit with neon lights, and one business owner in the heart of the Mining City is looking to bring back that tradition with some modern LED lights at their storefront.

"We’re really excited to kind of bring back some streetlights and some neon to Main Street. When you think about the old historical photographs of Uptown Butte, when there was life and vibrancy and all that, a lot of times you’re going to see these beautiful neon signs and we want to take it on ourselves to do that and add to the history of this area," says Jon Wick, the owner of 5518 Designs located on Main Street in Uptown Butte.

Wick's boutique sells everything from shoes to camping gear, jewelry, stickers, and graphic t-shirts that celebrate Butte and Southwest Montana. The store is housed in the 140-year-old Chequamegon Cafe building, one of Butte’s oldest treasures, but the new sign on the facade is as modern as you can get.

"We have LED lights, which is really cool. It really only weighs like a hundred and fifty pounds," says Wick.

The sign stands eight-and-a-half feet tall with about four dozen energy-efficient LED bulbs. The handmade sign was constructed by local sign maker John Weitzel who spent about five months building it. Wick says funds from Butte-Silver Bow’s Urban Revitalization Agency also helped bring the sign to life.

"It’s only been up for probably less than 24 hours, and I’ve had a handful of text messages and a couple of emails just saying, 'Hey, Jon. The sign looks amazing,' and so that really makes my heart happy because that’s what we want to do is bring some excitement and some vibrancy and some energy to Uptown Butte," says Wick.