Day 35: Wisconsin & Illinois

It’s catch-up time.  I arrived safely home Sunday at 3 pm.  The dust hasn’t quite settled here but I’ll get Friday’s post up — and maybe Saturday’s later or tomorrow.  I had mostly good sun — some haziness.  I wrapped up some stuff in southern Wisconsin and moved on to northern Illinois.  I’ll keep the talking brief since I’m exhausted and I have a big yapper coming up in the final post.

This ice cream shaped sign is in Kenosha, WI:

Also Kenosha:

 

On to Beloit, WI:

 

On to Illinois — from Rockford.  It appears a building was recently reduced to rubble — a vacant lot where I’m standing & shooting.  Thus exposing this bit of painted advertising.  Amazing that these big three credit card companies still exist — just with different names:

 

A nice vitrolite facade in Harvard, IL:

 

On to the Illinois Railway Museum in Union.  I was there for a few neon signs.  The museum just got this Santa Fe sign from Chicago in July:
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-24/news/ct-talk-santa-fe-sign-0724-20120724_1_santa-fe-sign-motorola-solutions

And of course there are loads of trains and streetcars and such — filling building after building:

And lots of trains outside, too:

 

This one was built in 1964 and operated in Chicago:

Semaphores & signals:

Also a diner which I posted to the Flickr agilitynut account — and, yes, some signs. I’m told they have all been restored and are lit at night for special events:

Love this one with the trains & chasing bulbs on top:

Another massive sign…

…. with that nifty marble textured background:

Also found this salvaged piece of terrazzo floor:

 

On to Elgin where the sun was running out.  This spectacular Art Deco building is too “golden hour” for the website — but good enough for the blog.

 

Then it was on to Chicago area for some night shooting (the reason I fell behind in my posts).  This was pretty much on the fly — no list.  I just put together about a dozen stops at places with signs that I knew should be lit.  Some of them weren’t but maybe they were closed for the day and turn their signs off when they lock up.

This business in Chicago was still in business but a depressing “for sale” sign posted.  Shoot ‘em while you can folks:

 

The world-famous, original Superdawg Drive-in in Chicago.  The statues spin and their eyes flash on and off.    There is a new location in Wheeling, IL with these same statues of Maurie & Flaurie:
http://www.superdawg.com/history.cfm

 

More from Chicago.  I made a quickie video to show you the flickering bulb action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3_6Tf7_lRg&feature=youtu.be

 

 

These signs at the Melrose Restaurant were covered up by an awning for years.  The restaurant was going to replace the awning and discovered this underneath when they removed it.  This was over a year ago so it looks like the signs will remain on view.

 

To close out this post — a fun modern sign:

 

I’ll start working on the final post but I’m running out of steam.  And I have to go to work tonight.  So I probably won’t get it up until tomorrow morning.

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7 Responses to “Day 35: Wisconsin & Illinois”

  1. Glad you made it home safely – and those nighttime neon finds are just wonderful!

  2. Amazing you were able to get a post trip post up this fast given fatigue and having to” make the donuts” ( work) as soon as you pulled in! lol

    great group! I can’t imagine covering up a sign that said “pancake specialties” in the first place …but at least it’s on view now. Love seeing relative modern cards given an old time treatment on a building’s wall . Indeed, shoot ‘em now while one can . Great job like always

  3. galechicago Says:

    There’s no place like home! I didn’t even worry about you on the road yesterday, you were so close to home and no bad weather. The Chicago signs are so familiar to me! Of course many years of living “right around the corner,” and I never shot any of them. The Green Mill was a favorite bar for my pals and me in the 1980s, the interior was original 1940s, and very overdone with lots of plaster curlicues.

    Sparkle did great after she finally got fixed correctly in Illinois last month. So glad you and the pups made it back okay!

    • Thanks — not fun being back at work already. But gotta pay for my “sins”. I have long wanted to devote a night to shooting Chicago signs. Only got to a small amount. Maybe next summer I can get to more.

  4. some amazing stuff you’ve documented and about that RR museum.. wow!

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