James Van Corr Jr., the owner of the firm developing the property, said he called the city of Anniston early on in the project to ask if there was anyone interested in the sign. He waited several weeks, he said, but never heard back.
Mayor Vaughn Stewart, who publicly expressed the city’s interest in preserving the fixture when the business closed in September, said city staff never informed him about Corr’s inquiry. But Tuesday night Stewart contacted the developer and arranged to have city workers pick up the sign from the property this morning.
Construction crews had been at the site Tuesday demolishing the brick restaurant at 1910 Quintard Ave.
Stewart said the city of Anniston will hold the sign in storage until officials can find someone interested in taking the project on. He said city leaders hope to find a recipient who intends to keep the sign in the community.
When the fixture was illuminated, a red neon kicker would swing his leg and send a trail of amber neon footballs flipping through a set of uprights toward the restaurant. It was one of the first neon signs on Quintard Avenue.
Storm winds put the sign out of commission in 2009.
Tod Swormstedt, founder of the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, told The Star in September that the sign is well known among collectors and historians, and its custom-made, animated neon is a reflection of the happiness and prosperity of post-World War II 1950s.
Efforts to reach Swormstedt Tuesday were not immediately successful.
Corr said Tuesday afternoon he hoped to donate the sign, but his company could not afford to wait weeks to find someone to step forward and take the fixture.
Corr said the current intentions for the property are to prepare it for a Verizon Wireless location.
Calhoun County businessman S.A. Pruett opened the Goal Post on Quintard Avenue in the 1960s. It changed hands a few times. But Roy Young bought the restaurant in 1973, and he and his family operated the business until 1998.
The Goal Post has served the likes of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, Joe Namath, generals and several Alabama governors. U.S. Sen. Howell Heflin was a regular and often took the barbecue with him on plane rides back to Washington, according to a former owner. In 2005, the restaurant’s barbecue made the Alabama Department of Tourism’s list of 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die.
Assistant Metro Editor Daniel Gaddy: 256-235-3560. On Twitter @DGaddy_Star.