LUMI is now home to a giant neon letter A. Once part of the Stuart Hall rooftop sign, this capital A stands eight feet tall and almost as wide—it’s huge!
A manufacturer of school supplies, office supplies and stationery, Stuart Hall operated in Kansas City from 1943 until the late 90s, mostly on West 20th Street in what was the National Biscuit Company building built in 1910. It housed both the stationery manufacturing plant and the company offices. Now home to the Freight House Lofts of Stuart Hall, the property remains part of the historic Freight House District in the Kansas City Crossroads, but the iconic neon sign is long gone.
LUMI is indebted to Hallmark Cards lettering artist Jerry Lobato for his keen eye and quick action one day back in the early 90s. Looking west from his Hallmark office and beyond the Crown Center Hotel, Jerry noticed the top of a letter A moving. He dropped what he was doing and ran over to the rooftop where he found the Stuart Hall sign being dismantled.
One conversation with a workman, and $75 later, Jerry owned a monumental letter A. They lowered the face of the letter A down with a rope.
Having heard about LUMI, Jerry kindly donated this A to the museum in 2020—we’re thrilled to add this beautiful piece of Kansas City history and artistry to our growing collection.