Quaker Oats is getting a facelift this week as the company begins the process of replacing the building's signs that were damaged during the August 10, 2020, derecho.

According to Iowa's News Now the Nesper Signs company is in the process of removing the old neon red letters that have beamed "Quaker Oats" for decades on the downtown riverbanks of Cedar Rapids.

The new sign will be a modern display of high-tech LED lights that saves energy by using just a fraction of what it does now, which also saves money. The new sign is also safer and better for the environment. Nesper Sign Advertising President Phil Garland said,

It's environmentally more friendly because it doesn't contain any mercury and its safer because its not high voltage.

There's no doubt the city skyline will not look the same again; a new sign alone will give the building a much-needed modernized makeover. But even a bright, new, shiny sign can't take away the historical and emotional impact of those old red letters. Some folks may remember parents teaching their kids how to spell by reciting the letters aloud in the car as they drove by the building's silos.

A business friend once told me that when Pepsi purchased the company, they had originally planned to remove the Quaker Oats name completely from the building. But workers and managers balked at the idea and implored the new owners to keep the Quaker Oats name intact. The compromise was to include both names on the front entrance of the building, and it remains that way to this day.

According to Iowa's News Now, Nesper Signs says work on the new sign is likely to be completed by the summer of 2021.

We're excited to see the new look!

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