Nearly two years ago, the Mercury received a frantic dispatch that the revered Hung Far Low sign had been removed from the Old Town/Chinatown perch from which it had delighted Portlander’s for decades. It was soon discovered, sadly, warehoused in a Scappoose derelict sign yard.

Today the Portland Development Commission announced that on September 2nd the sign returns to the neighborhood, gift wrapped, for a special unveiling ceremony to take place at 7 pm.

The sign will be re-hung thanks in part to the staying power of a stimulated community effort, according to the PDC press release:

The sign was removed during the 2008-09 renovation of the Hung Far Low building, which now houses Ping Restaurant. Portland citizens rallied to restore the 2000-pound landmark, raising more than $8,600 through commemorative t-shirt sales, a website and special events. PDC closed the remaining gap with approximately $45,000 in grant funding. The total cost of the project — which includes removal of the sign, design and restoration work, and its re-attachment to the building, is estimated at $77,461.

The restoration work spoken of here is specifically related to fixing the sign's rusted out framework, a new hanging support structure, and a paint job meant to match original colors. Current plans are to have the sign lit by lights attached to the building, but the press release points out, “there is interest in someday restoring the neon lighting to the sign.”

The return of the Hung Far Low sign has been a long time coming. In fact, in June of 2009 Sarah Mirk reported the that the funds had been secured to tug the landmark out of the sign yard. But the sign's re-erection hasn't been a certainty until today.