For over a decade, the fate of the iconic Domino Sugar sign that once cast a familiar neon yellow glow above the East River was unknown. Previously affixed to the top of a now-demolished building, the sign sat in storage while the rest of the site, once the world’s largest sugar manufacturer, underwent major redevelopment. A new replica sign was unveiled in December of 2022. Now, the historic sign has returned to the Domino site in a new form.

Domino Sugar sign art installation at The Refinery
Photo by Etiene Frossard, Courtesy of Two Trees Management

This wall-based sculpture, Untitled (reverse virgule), was created by American artist Virginia Overton. It hangs in the lobby of The Refinery at Domino. Overton used enamel components of the original neon sign fabricated for Domino by the Artkraft Strauss Sign Corporation in 1969. The abstract work pays homage to the building’s past while giving the sign a new life.

Photos in the gallery below, shared by the artist, show just how massive the original sign was. It stretched a total of 45 feet tall and 65 feet wide. Overton created miniature versions of the letters to plan out their new configuration before working with the sin remnants. The sculpture stretches 11 feet by 36 feet.

  • Domino Sugar sign "O" being lifted onto a flatbed truck
  • Domino Sugar sign letters in storage
  • Small pieces of Domino Sugar Sign letters
  • Domino Sugar sign letters in storage

Repurposing original materials from the old Domino plant has been a regular practice throughout the 11-acre site’s redevelopment. At Domino Park, gantry cranes, original columns from the sugar warehouse, reclaimed wood, and syrup tanks are all incorporated into the design. Untapped New York Insiders got to explore the Refinery while it was still under construction. On the tour, we learn how the landmarked facade of the brick structure from 1882 was preserved while a new glass tower was built inside. The Refinery reopened in September 2023 as a 15-story, 460,000-square-foot Class A office building on the Williamsburg waterfront. See photos from our Insider experience here!

The Refinery at Dominno
Photo by Max Touhey

In a press release, Overton shared her excitement over the new piece. “The opportunity to work with salvaged material from the Refinery has been a boon. Reusing existing materials as a way to extend the life of objects is integral to my practice. It was a privilege to be able to work with a piece of history from America’s industrial heyday and reimagine this historic artifact as a sculpture that honors the sign’s storied past while embracing its possibilities for the future,” the artist said.

Next, check out Iconic New York City Signs, Past and Present