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When you think of Downtown Bristol, it’s impossible not to envision the iconic Bristol Sign, which is one of the city’s most popular photo ops.

The Bristol Sign, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, stands over State Street, which runs through the middle of Bristol. One half is in Bristol, Tennessee, and the other half is in Bristol, Virginia.

In 1910, the Bristol Gas and Electric Company donated and erected a sign atop the Interstate Hardware Company to promote the city. The sign originally read “Push – That’s Bristol,” referring to the growth and potential of the two cities. In 1915, the sign was moved to its current location, which spans State Street. Its slogan, chosen through a contest, was also changed at that time and since has proclaimed “A Good Place to Live.” The second choice was “The Best Place to Live,” but those words were thought to sound too boastful, while the first choice was considered modest and truthful.

The sign, which was one of the largest signs of its kind in the country when it was installed, rises 25 feet over State Street and is lit with 1,357 LED bulbs.

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