AKRON—Akron's iconic Firestone sign is getting a facelift.
Bridgestone Americas Inc., the Nashville-based tire maker that owns the Firestone brand, said it will refurbish and relocate the sign and re-erect it later at a location yet to be determined. The sign is currently located atop the Firestone Plant One building in south Akron.
The project kicks off Dec. 5 with a phased removal of the sign, which has been an icon on the Rubber City skyline for more than a century.
Bridgestone said it will replace the sign's neon lights with energy-efficient LED lights, while upgrading the structure of the sign. The project, the tire maker said, will take several months.
The Firestone Plant One building houses the Bridgestone Advanced Technology Workshop, where the company makes race tires for the NTT IndyCar series.
Bridgestone is in the process of moving those operations to a new plant, dubbed Advanced Tire Production Center, being built about a mile south of Plant One and a few blocks from the firm's technical center.
That 80,000-sq.-ft. facility is on schedule to open in 2022.
In 2019, Bridgestone extended a deal to be the sole tire supplier to the NTT IndyCar Series, which includes the Indy 500, through 2025.
All of the tires for the series will be produced at the new facility. When fully operational, the facility will produce around 30,000 race tires a year, the company said.