More Recent-ish Sign News – Part 2

Here’s Part 2 — brace yourself for more heartbreaking losses.  All the photos were taken by me unless it’s mentioned.  By the way, you can advance to earlier posts down at the bottom of the page, just above the brown box.  Or in the brown box, you can select posts by monthly chunks.

Ohio has lost some beauties recently.  The Carl Zipf Lock Shop sign in Columbus had been bent like this since at least 2007:
zipf

Then, earlier this year, the sign was replaced with this smaller, modern sign — from Google Street View:
capture

The Maple  Leaf Tavern in Cleveland was a beauty:

mapleleaf

It was replaced within the last year and a half with a new sign for the All Stars Ultra Sports Lounge.  I’ll spare you with how ugly it looks.

This one in Lancaster, OH was gorgeous.  It was still there last year but it’s gone now.  In fact, the entire building has been demolished:

kingsf

 

A little ray of sun — the Karl Mouch sign in Cincinnati was removed this year.  But Tod at the American Sign Museum is working with the family that owned the business.  The sign will probably be restored and then will, most likely, be sold to a collector.  Let’s hope somehow Tod is able to sweet talk the sign into his collection instead.  These Elgin Watch signs were mass-produced and there are only a dozen or so of them still out there.  This is one of the rarer ones with the optional, blade sign attached:

mouch

 

Some losses in New Jersey.  This one in Angeloni’s Cedar Gardens Liquor store in Hamilton was removed this year:
angelonis

This one in Pennsville — gone:
forks

In Jersey City — the business closed decades (?) ago — the sign is gone now:
starrs

In Rutherford, NJ — there in 2013 but gone now:
flash

The Colgate Clock in Jersey City has a long history.  This sign was built in 1924 and was based on Colgate’s octagon-shaped soap.  The hour marks and hands were outlined with neon.  The outside of the clock was lit with bulbs.

colgate

Then, in 2013, the clock was completely rebuilt (I assume they trashed the original) with LED.  Needless to say, I’m not pleased with the results.  Here’s a photo from Patrick Marella:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pmarella/14845729998/

capture

For those of you who wonder what’s the big deal between neon and LED… Yes, LED is cheaper.  But it’s turning to be not as long-lasting as promised.   Most importantly, it’s crap as you can see here.  The first photo shows the sign when it had neon (glowing, warm, wonderful) and the second photo of what it looks like now (flat, lifeless, blah):

Photo from Steven Kelley:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/yukonblizzard/4482415211/

capture

Photo from J. Alberto Granados Sosa:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/wideopencode/15830916525/
capture

Moving on to a couple of losses in Illinois.  In Forest Park — the sign was still there in 2015 but gone now.  I’m hoping a collector got this one since it’s not overly big:
thepines

This sign was in Tuscola, IL.  When the motel got a plastic box sign in 2012, the sign was saved and moved across the street and installed at a used car dealer.  We thought the sign had found some love and was safe.  But by 2015, it was gone:
cooper

This sign in Kansas City, KS disappeared within the last year or two:
thriftway

Let’s end this post with one bit of good news fer Chrissakes.  The Sifting Sands Motel sign in Ocean City, NJ is being restored.  Or at least I think it is:
sifting

This article says that the sign is being restored as closely as possible to the original colors and look:
http://ocnjdaily.com/sifting-sands-refurbishes-facilities/

I may have one more “Recent Sign News” post in few weeks.  It probably shrinks my “fan base” to write these but I think it’s important to share the bad news.  We need to get organized somehow folks to save what’s left.  There are plenty of wonderful signs still out there but we lose more and more every year, every month.  At this rate, 20 years from now, there will be practically none left.

Happy New Year!

Debra Jane

P.S.  some little roadtrips coming up soon.  There will also be a three-week trip this summer.  Most likely AZ, NM & a little TX.

 

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11 thoughts on “More Recent-ish Sign News – Part 2

  1. I agree we need to do something to stop the constant dismantling of these signs, but how? You’ve seen enough of this in your research – any common themes as to why people are doing this, that could be addressed? I hear you on the “time is running out” part!

    • Yes, I have given it a lot of thought. It will be the subject of an upcoming blog. Stay tuned! In the meantime, gush to the business owner about how much you LOVE the sign (which I know you already do).

  2. Oh, and the reason is pretty simple: MONEY! We need to establish some way to fund-raise better than just the random GoFundMe failed attempts. Plastic boxes are far cheaper than restoring big neon signs. Most of these signs are at businesses that are barely breaking even. Unless they get assistance, the carnage will continue. Then, there’s the topic of businesses that close and what’s to become of those signs. Adapting for other businesses usually results in horrible outcomes. We need far better networking and communication with business owners. We need to help the businesses deal with city bureaucracies by communicating what makes these signs so special, historic, unique, worthy of preservation, or giving them options of what to do with the signs. More soon.

  3. Another great collection of classic signs. So glad that you were able to capture them. So sad that many are gone. I always try to capture any that I come across too. Keep up the good work.

  4. Just found your blog !! I emailed you about the Wimpee fuel oil sign. A lot of damage was done up in North Florida and Georgia. If you’re ever down Miami way, let me know. There are some old neon still left on the old motels here !!

    • Hi — I have been to Miami many times but not for awhile. Hopefully, in a few years. If you use the white keyword search box at the top of any page at my website (RoadsideArchitecture.com), you’ll find plenty of stuff when you enter Miami or anything else.

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