Tucked away at Broadway and Campbell, you’ll find a time machine into Tucson history.

The Ignite Sign Art Museum is celebrating five years in business of showcasing iconic features in Tucson, and in some cases, bringing them back to life.

Meet Jude Cook, our time traveling tour guide. He and his wife Monica own and run this incredible collection of iconic art. The vast majority of it, is uniquely local.

“Our collection is largely Tucson,” Cook said. “It reflects the history of Tucson, because it reflects the businesses that were here. I’ve got big signs from large, national accounts, but I’ve also got signs that were local small businesses, hotels, variety of different things. Grocery stores, Chinese grocery stores.”

Looking through the museum, it’s easy to recognize some of the local landmarks.

“Neon is so cool,” Cook said smiling. “You know, there’s nothing else like it. It grabs your attention and that’s why it received the amount of popularity it did.”

Some of the signs in the museum are the real deal. — retired pieces Cook has picked up throughout the decades.

“What we’ve done is we’ve taken signs that probably would have gotten destroyed. We’ve saved them, and a lot of them we’ve taken, put them back together and got them running again.”

Others signs at the museum are smaller models of neon signs around town, that Cook has recreated, like the saguaro sign at Oracle and Adams, which Cook actually built and currently maintains. There’s also a mini version of the diving girl, which lives at 6th Avenue and 12th Street downtown, which he restored.

In some cases, Cook says his restoration work has uncovered layors of history he never expected. While restoring one neon sign for a veterinarian’s office, he realized it had changed four times, as new owners kept changing the name.

While Cook himself is a collector, he says the best part of neon signs is getting them back to their glory where they belong.

“It’s more important to have them out in the community,” he said.”To have them here, at least they’re saved. But it’s nicer to let the community have the vibrancy of neon.”

All the more reason to come see an electric piece of Tucson history, culture and pride.

“There’s nothing else like it here,” Cook said. “It’s a Tucson gem, but it works for people from out of town. If you live here you might recognize stuff. If you don’t live here, you can still appreciate it. And we have a lot of we have a lot of history written up on it. We try to document as much as we can. So it’s a history lesson, and it’s just a cool place. I continue to think it’s one of the coolest things we’ve gotten in Tucson.”

If you’d like to stop by the museum, they’re open Wednesday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

They even have a gift shop, interactive activities, and demonstrations on most Fridays and Saturdays.