In Seattle, Questions Arise About the Future of a Sign From the Past

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Seattle has a number of older neon signs, including for a car wash and the Post-Intelligencer newspaper. But the giant Wonder Bread sign in the Central area, atop a bakery scheduled for demolition, is one that some residents fear may be sold piecemeal.

"These battles over saving something old are proxy battles," said David Brewster, the founder of Town Hall, Seattle's cultural center, who is writing a history of the city since the 1962 World's Fair here. "They are really battles against traffic, although of course gentrification weighs in."

Seattle, founded in the 1850's, is still relatively young, Mr. Brewster said."Where you don't have a lot of history," he said, "you do want to hang onto the little you do have. And where you have a high degree of change, you fear change."

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