After Irma, Miami Coppertone Girl gets a facelift

Hurricane force winds broke off piece of historic billboard


MIAMI – Damaged in Hurricane Irma, Miami's iconic Coppertone Girl sign literally got a a facelift this week.

The historic 35-foot sign was installed in 1959. It's a 3-D replica of the sunscreen company's then-logo -- a little girl turning around as her dog pulls at her swimsuit. 

In September, high winds from the hurricane sheered off the top of the girl's head. After the storm, the MiMo Biscayne Association issued a plea for help to find the missing piece of the sign.  It was eventually found lodged behind the sign, which is attached to a building in the 7300 block of Biscayne Boulevard. 

The Coppertone Girl sign is seen here after the temporary fix.
The Coppertone Girl sign is seen here after the temporary fix.

Workers quickly repaired the Coppertone Girl, but the solution was only a temporary patch. A highly visible seam ran through her face. This week workers at Neon Sign Solutions unveiled repairs that removed the unsightly seam beneath her nose. 

The neighborhood association said the work of Jerry Bengis, whose father's company originally built the sign, was key to the restoration.

In the late 50s and early 60s, the company put up hundreds of Coopertone Girl signs across the country and some them even moved. However, the Miami sign is one of the few remaining 1950s-era Coopertone billboards in existence.