Downtown Neon

Serving St. Louis

by Michael R. Allen

The neon sign atop the Railton Residence, originally the Robert E. Lee Hotel, at 18th and Pine streets in downtown St. Louis. The sign frame dates to 1932, when the owners of the Robert E. Lee built it to advertise their hotel. The Salvation Army purchased the hotel in 1939 for use as one of its Evangeline Residences — homes for young businesswomen — and built its sign on the existing framework in 1944.