Day 29 & 30: Northern Georgia

I’ve got these two days up at my website now. So, it’s time for another double-post!

This gas station building in Watkinsville is pretty convincing. However, I believe it was built from scratch. There was nothing on the property but trees in 2008. The randomly but regularly-placed exposed brick and weird roof that hangs over the entire building are clues:

This former gas station in Athens is “real”. It would have been a Standard Oil station originally (the canopy support is the giveaway). It’s now a pizza place:


This giant milk carton is also in Athens. Usually, these were installed at dairy plants. This one was actually installed at a milk carton manufacturer. The company is gone now but they named the road after the plant (Dairy Pak Rd.) and I’m so glad they have kept the carton. Lots more of these at my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/vessels/other.html#Ontario

How about a couple of very rusty crusty signs? The Red Land motel sign is in Washington:

The Angus Motel is also in Washington:

Sun would have helped with this one in Athens.
Five chock-full pages of Rexall signs at my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/signs/rex.html

Blue Ridge is considered the trout fishing capital of Georgia. When a tree died in the downtown park, the City hired a chainsaw guy to carve, what else, a jumping rainbow trout:

Fiberglass statues abound at Atlantis Plumbing in Dallas. The owner got bitten with the bug and acquired a lot statues from Magic Forest in Lake George, NY when the new owner changed themes. This is an opportunity to really see the size and style differences between what I call the “smooth” chicken and the “classic” rooster. International Fiberglass made the classic statues in the 1960s and there are still dozens of them all over the country. They are now replicated in aluminum (easy to spot since they have a lot more feathery detail). I don’t know what company made the smooth variety but there are only a handful of them out there on public display. I’ve got five pages of chickens alone in my Animal Statue section:

https://www.roadarch.com/critters/birdsclassic.html

Big D’s BBQ is located in Dawsonville. This guy was on the roof for years. I guess they decided to retire him. I found him behind the building. I was relieved to see him but I am worried about him:


The giant grill-revolver is still out front and from the look of the tires, it won’t be moved around anytime soon:

While on the subject of guns.. how about this sign topper at Appalachian Gun, Pawn, Range & Training in Jasper:

Just down the highway is this place with both fiberglass boots (Tony Lama and Justin). Lots of giant boots at my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/mim/boots.html

This building in Chamblee was actually the very first Dari-Delite building that I ever saw. It’s been a flower shop since at least 2008. I didn’t know what it was back in 2009 and I googled like mad when I got home to figure it out. Since then, I’ve shot them all over the country:

https://www.roadarch.com/eateries/ddelite.html#Chamblee

This is what the original buildings looked like. Note the weathervane at the top. The Chamblee location still has the pole and the thing on top of it:

None of the locations are still operating but this location in Napa, CA still has the original Dee and Dee-Dee signs in the gables:

The Chamblee location still has the original pole sign although the panels have been changed:

Moving on to this cute little dome church in Marietta:

This globe sculpture entitled “Spaceship Earth” at Kennesaw State University (in Kennesaw) has really fallen on hard times. It was installed in 2006 and it has fallen apart at least a couple of times. The earth was a very pretty blue originally. Lots more globes at my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/mim/globes.html

Last photo for this post… this sign in Marietta originally advertised for a Jiffy Drive-in. Here’s what it would have looked like originally (credit to Columbus Ohio Neon: http://columbusneon.blogspot.com/2016/07/lets-take-trip-back-in-time.html )

Note that the sign was just being installed and they hadn’t put the neon tubing on it yet.

If you haven’t visited my Flickr page in a while, keep in mind that I’m posting different photos there simultaneously with these blog posts. In general, these blog posts are meant for the less photogenic stuff that often never appears at my website. The Flickr uploads are a little more like highlights from each day:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

Two more days of Georgia to go but they were big shooting days (including Atlanta). More posts soon!

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Days 27 & 28: More Georgia

Here comes another big double-post. Day 27 was pretty grey and disappointing light-wise. Fortunately, things got a little better the following day.

Let’s start with this former Coca-Cola bottling plant in Swainsboro. I think there are more of these Coke buildings left in Georgia than any other state. If you’d like to see more, here’s the soft drinks bottling buildings section at my website:

https://www.roadarch.com/beverage/main.html

This midcentury modern building in Savannah may have housed a pest control company originally. In addition to the metal-ring screens next to the entrance, there’s a nifty glass structure on the roof:

The Central Park fast food chain was established in Chattanooga in 1982. Here’s an example in Goldsboro, NC (now gone) of their early design from my website:

https://www.roadarch.com/eateries/ffood2.html#Central

Over the years their buildings got a little bigger and double canopies were added. This building in Savannah has housed the Green Tea Drive-in since at least 2008:

Hundreds of these (what I call) “Left Leg Forward” cows were built by Sculptured Advertising (FAST’s predecessor) in Wisconsin in the late 1950s and 1960s.

https://www.roadarch.com/critters/cowsleft.html

There are about 37 still on display around the country including this one in Savannah at Keller’s Flea Market. In addition to her hat and earrings, she has a watch on her front left leg and a ring on her tail:

This car dealership sign in Savannah has been around since at least 1972 but was probably built earlier. I’ve been told that it originally advertised for the Plantation Club but I’ve never seen photos of the sign from that time. Here’s what it looked like when I shot it in 2007:


And this is what it’s looked like since around 2014:

The Streamliner Diner in Savannah was built by Worcester in 1938. It was originally located in New Hampshire but was moved here in 1990 by SCAD (the Savannah College of Art and Design). It housed the Sandfly Bar-B-Q restaurant from 2015-2020. It’s vacant now but I was able to shoot the interior from the entrance door window:

This funky sign with a giant key is located in Savannah:

This place is located in Augusta:

Also in Augusta:

Another one from Augusta. The peanut brittle and chips signs are reverse-painted glass:


The Chateau Restaurant in Augusta is closed but this facade sign remains:

The Lamar Building in Augusta was built in 1918. The crazy rooftop, penthouse addition was designed by I.M. Pei and built in 1976. It is sometimes referred to as “The Toaster”:

The Karpf Building in Savannah was built in 1935. The original tenant was “B. Karpf”, Benjamin Karpf’s hat store:

This sign in Savannah has been through a lot. It was originally built in 1947 for Mathew’s Fish Market restaurant. Mark Denton shot the sign in the early 1980s:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/swampzoid/3406234840/

Later, the lettering was adapted for an Italian restaurant. It was adapted again for Sorry Charlie’s seafood restaurant around 2003. Here’s a photo that I took in 2007. I think these were the original panels, just repainted:

The building was declared unsafe in 2007 and the restaurant closed. After repairs, it reopened around 2014. This sign was replicated and reinstalled around 2015. The text layout is a little different and the water beneath the fish is a little simpler, but overall the design is pretty faithful to the original Mathews sign:

The Paradise Restaurant sign in Sylvania opened with this sign in the 1950s:

There was a companion sign with birds at the adjacent Paradise Motel:

There restaurant sign already looked a bit different by the 1960s:

It was replaced with this sign sometime later in the 1960s. The star on top originally revolved. My photo from 2009:

The restaurant closed in 1999. Just before it was demolished in 2016, the owners of the nearby Cooperville Caboose saved the sign and moved it to their property. They planned to restore it or at least erect it. But that never happened. The Caboose closed and the sign was moved to a nearby field. The “Paradise” panel lays in the grass and the star is nowhere to be found:

Last photo for this post. The Williams Seafood restaurant in Savannah burned down in 2004 but this sign remains, being swallowed up the trees more and more each year:

A four-day weekend — woo-hoo! So, don’t be surprised if you hear from me a time or two again very soon.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 25 & 26: Southern & Central Georgia

I’m lumping these two days together for a nice big post. Lots of crusty signs in here for you sign fans! Day 25 was pretty crappy with cloudy weather but I didn’t have a day to give up to wait around. So, I powered through, took my shots, and will be back one day for better, sunny photos.

The Hotel Alma in Alma, GA could use some new paint. It looks like the neon might be intact:

This ICE sign in Bainbridge, GA is probably modern but it’s still pretty in the (momentary) sun. It points at the very big self-serve Bainbridge Ice House machine:

This Hall Drug Co. sign is in Blakely, GA:

This sign is in Dawson, GA. Kinda crude hand-painted and neon-less but still wonderful:

This sign in Albany, GA is at the Albany Strikers Bowling Center:

This Colyer’s Jewelers sign is in Valdosta, GA. It’s hard to shoot with the trees:

This Maryland Fried Chicken in Albany, GA has one of the nicest preserved buildings left, with original plastic signs. That rooftop thingie over the entrance was a big weathervane:

This Phillips 66 in Ashburn, GA has been remodeled a little but it’s still nice to see vintage (non-functioning?) pumps and the P66 sign. It’s not the original sign but still vintage enough. The original would have been shield-shaped:

This mid-century modern bank is in Adel, GA:

This sign in Tifton, GA is looking pretty rough. Go-Fund-Me, anybody? Imagine this thing with neon, fresh paint, and flashing bulbs:

This sign is in Quitman, GA. I’ve never seen such a strange pitted material. The letters and mortar/pestle look like wood:

A little paint and this sign in Quitman, GA would be gorgeous:

This marvelous three-fer (corrugated plastic, neon, bulbs) WITH readerboard bonus is in Tifton, GA:

This Krispy Kreme in Albany, GA still has the 1960s-era gabled roof building with this rooftop crown sign. It originally had corrugated plastic panels but at least it has this painted panel now. The other side has the icky modern logo in neon (or could be LED). I don’t think it revolves anymore or at least it wasn’t this summer:

This cleaners in Albany, GA is still operating:

This Southern Motel sign in Cordele, GA has been swallowed up the trees (and this is the more visible side!). You would never see it if you weren’t deliberately looking for it:

This sign in Macon, GA may no longer have the neon but a least they are keeping up with the paint. I wonder if that middle panel was a readerboard or if it had neon letters as well:

This Coca-Cola sign is located in Buena Vista, GA at the former Marion Drugs:

This pest control sign is in Macon, GA. I’ve got a bunch of other pest control signs at my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/sca/pest.html

This scary bear is located at Mercer University in Macon, GA:

This BBQ joint is in Gray, GA:

And lastly, one more sign from Macon, GA. This one was supposedly built in 1937. The restaurant was destroyed in a fire in 2015 and later demolished. But this projecting sign went unscathed. It is now installed inside the Montpelier Ave. location:

Six more days of Georgia to come. With a holiday weekend coming up, I hope to get a ton of photos photoshopped and up at the website. You can expect at least a blog post or two from me then.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Bonus shot of the crew from last weekend in the “fall foliage” (iceplant at the beach) here in SoCal:

Day 24: Florida Wrap-up and Georgia Begins

All of the Florida stuff is now up at my website (far, far more than was included in these blog posts or other photos posted over at Flickr). So, if you have favorite topics (signs, mid-century modern, gas stations, Art Deco, etc.), you might want to go check out all that there (roadarch.com). Don’t forget about the search box near the top left of any page below the yellow bar if you want to search by city, business name, and/or theme.


Before we move on to the Georgia photos, let’s sneak one more photo in for Jacksonville, FL. This former car dealership was built in 1969. It last housed Coggin GMC-Pontiac but I don’t know if that was the original tenant. The building’s been vacant since around 2008 but it won’t be around much longer. There are plans to demolish it and replaced with a Circle K gas station and convenience store:

This BBQ place in Baxley, GA now houses a florist shop. I’m glad they have kept the modern pig sign:

These modern Coke & Pepsi signs in Baxley are installed on the convenience store at a Valero station. They have been there since at least 2008 when there was a Citgo station there.

This neon arrow sign in Waycross, GA points at Yarbrough’s Office Products & Printing which has been around since 1932. The sign looks maybe 1960s or 1970s?:

These civic pride mosaic murals in Waycross, GA were built for the SunTrust Bank (or whatever bank was there originally). The bank is gone now but the building is housing the county elections office. Sorry about the shadows – it was very late in the day:

This 19-foot-long gator sculpture in Folkston, GA was built in New York in 2004 and brought here at some point. For lots more gators, I’ve got two pages worth at my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/critters/gators.html

This former Coca-Cola bottling plant in Hinesville, GA is about to be repurposed for a brewery/restaurant. If you like Coca-Cola buildings, tons of them from all over the country here:

https://www.roadarch.com/beverage/main.html

This bank with a projecting lighthouse is located in St. Simons Island, GA:

Steffens Restaurant in Kingsland, GA has had a few different signs over the years. These are probably what they opened with in 1948:

And then later (mid-1950s?) with a new building:

The sign that’s there today was pretty faded until it was restored around 2018:

This Maryland Fried Chicken chain was established with the first location in Orlando in 1961. This Waycross, GA location opened in 1969. The building has been remodeled a bit:

And the sign has new plastic panels. But the original pulsating neon disk on top remains:

Last photo for this post if from Midway, GA. It’s a bit of a mystery as to where it came from since it’s installed at an auto shop that has been there for many years.

Another week’s worth of Georgia coming up. Be back soon.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 23: Jacksonville Area

This is the last full day of Florida before we move on to Georgia.

Let’s start with Arnold’s Cocktail Lounge in St. Augustine. The sign is in sad shape now. It was apparently inspired by the Holiday Inn “Great Sign” and originally advertised for Roscoe’s Restaurant:

The the “Restaurant” panel was updated to read “Fun, Food & Spirits” in neon. But that panel was then patched and painted for its current look. The arrow’s flashing bulb holes were covered with neon. The remaining neon appears to be broken. But, hey, it’s still fun in its crude state:

There was also another sign at the same place which was removed around 2014. Here’s my photo from 2009:

The former Florida Bonded Pools sign in Jacksonville has been updated quite a bit since the store opened in 1957. This great article describes and shows the original sign with a giant representation of Esther Williams:

https://vintagejacksonville.net/2012/05/15/where-is-she-now/

The building remains the same but the current sign was built around the 1970s. It looked like this in 2009:

Unfortunately, Oak Wells Aquatics moved in apparently earlier this year and slapped opaque painted panels with their name over the backlit text panels. Fortunately, the surfboard-shaped “Wet Set” and diver panels remain. For more diving women signs, see my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/sca/diving.html

This Coca-Cola bottling plant in Jacksonville was built in 1927. Coke moved to another facility in 1967. This building has been abandoned for many years, maybe even since then. For more Coca-Cola buildings in Florida (and other states), see my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/beverage/fl.html

This sign for Haley’s Court in Vilano Beach is a real mystery. I’ve done a lot of internet pounding about this one. There are vintage postcards of the original sign which had a simple, 1940s design. It’s a crude and tiny image but there it is with its rounded panels, small top & bottom, and bullnose neon on the sides:

The sign shown below was supposedly the “original” (uh, no way 1940s…) donated to the county by the owners. It was then restored and installed near the motel’s original location. The amoeba shape would suggest 1960s but there are suspicious “retro” (i.e., faked modern to look vintage) elements. Like the fonts used, the channel design of the arrow, and what’s under that “Court” panel anyway? The sign may have been refurbished but I’m more inclined to think it’s totally a recreation. But whatever. It’s still nice to see it around no matter how “real” or old it is:

The Magic Beach Motel in Vilano Beach was built in 1951 as the Vilano Beach Motel. This sign was built in 1999 for the Safe Harbor TV show. The motel kept the sign and changed their name then. Earlier this year, the motel was sold to a developer and this will all be gone soon. Including the relief sculptures of flamingos on the office and the neon flamingo on the chimney:

The Maxwell House neon letters in Jacksonville were built in 1955. This website shows what the sign and freestanding neon cup tubing looked like:

https://vintagejacksonville.net/2015/05/19/maxwell-house-plant-circa-1970/

In 1971, the 10-foot-tall letters were moved onto a screen on another side of the building, where they remain today. The 45-foot-tall dripping cup (“Good to the Last Drop”) panel with three neon drops was built then. Around 2016, the red neon was removed and replaced with LED bulbs and tubing and the drops stopped dripping. Last year, there were plans to restore the sign with better LED that could be changed for holidays and other special events. I don’t think that ever happened.

This former Lovett’s Food Store in Jacksonville was built around 1947. It later became Winn-Lovett’s and later Winn-Dixie. Here’s a John Margolies photo from 1979:

The building is vacant now:

The Murray Hill Theatre in Jacksonville opened in 1949 and closed in 1994. It is now used for live performances:

These fiberglass dolphins in Vilano Beach are installed on the pier just behind the Bluebird of Happiness statue:

The owl at in Jacksonville is installed on a corner of the main public library branch downtown. It symbolizes Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, who could transform herself into an owl. The lockplate and key also symbolize wisdom:

The Morocco Temple in Jacksonville was built from 1910-1911. The building is now used for office space but the Egyptian Revival building and these Sphinx statues which flank the entrance remain:

The Peninsular Pest Control sign in Jacksonville was built in 1966. The mouse and the man’s arm were animated. When the spray gun was “activated,” the mouse would disappear (indicating that he was dead). The Penny Man panel revolved. The mouse and the spray gun neon were intact when I shot the sign in 2009:

However, the mouse and spray gun tubing has been broken since at least 2018 and I don’t think the sign operates any longer. For more pest control signs, see my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/sca/pest.html

This laundromat in Jacksonville was part of an early 1960s nationwide chain of Philco-Bendix Wash ‘N Dry Clean Sunshine Centers. The vacuum-form sign on the right was mass-produced but I believe this rooftop neon sign was a one-off.

I guess I was pretty fatigued as I totally missed seeing/shooting the backlit plastic sign on the lot. I hope it will wait until I get to Florida the next time! There are still a handful of these signs left around the country:

That’s a wrap for now. Next post, I’ll have a little more Florida and then we move on to about 9 days of Georgia.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 22: Daytona Beach Area

Today was another grey day but I did get a decent amount of shooting in before the rain came. One of these years, I’ll do a Florida trip in winter so that I can have better weather.

This motel in New Smyrna Beach has fallen on hard times. I believe built in 1949, it’s now closed and for sale. What’s left of the neon is installed over wooden letters, which seems like a dangerous combination to me. I couldn’t find any vintage photos or postcards to show what this sign may have looked like originally:

This fiberglass shark is installed at the, appropriate named, Big Shark Gift Shop in Daytona Beach. There are actually two other sharks, a dolphin, and a manatee as well.

This rare double-canopy former Phillips 66 station in Daytona Beach is now more like 1 1/3 canopies.

The Driftwood Animal Hospital in Daytona Beach is so simple, yet so lovely:

The Hawaiian Inn in Daytona Beach still has lots of original details from 1965 including this guy:

The peeling paint on this sign in Deland reveals its former name of Jack’s Boulevard:

This sign is also in Deland and looking pretty shabby. The motel is for sale — shoot ’em while you can folks…. Yes, surely, inspired by the Holiday Inn “Great Sign”:

This sign in Palatka originally advertised for a children’s clothing store. The Palatka Historical Society owns the sign. They will remove the sign and display it elsewhere if a tenant does not want the sign above their store:

This building in Daytona Beach was built in 1940:


The entrance and some other details have been messed and the sign is sure hideous but, hey, fairly intact:

I believe the Boat Bar in Port Orange was built in 1972:

Lastly, the Sun Viking Lodge in Daytona Beach remodeled the Oceanfront Villas in 1972 and gave the place a viking theme:


Back soon with more.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 21: More Orlando Area

Let’s start with a couple of signs from Orlando. Wally’s Liquors has been there since 1954. This sign is probably from later. I love it’s mix of fonts:

The Sands Motel on S. Orange Blossom Trail was built in 1957. The sign is in rough shape these days. This crude snippet from a vintage postcard shows its former glory when it had bulbs around the “MOTEL” arrow and neon text below:

This postcard from the 1960s shows that the sign was already repainted and that the bottom neon panel had been replaced with a readerboard:

There were some rough grey patches this day so I couldn’t do this sign in Maitland proper justice. They’ve been around since 1954:

In 2005, I took this photo at “Sports Dominator” in Orlando when there three statues:

I don’t know what happened to the muscleman but the basketball player was transformed earlier this year when the place became the Bronze Kingdom museum and gallery:


The soccer player was moved down the road to a strip mall with Brazilian stores and restaurants. He is now painted to look like Pele:

This building in Orlando originally housed Weather-Masters Engineering Co. Here’s a Google Street View image from 2011:

In 2012, Redlight Redlight moved into the building. Their new sign in the style of the old ones was installed. The Weathermasters sign shown in the image above was moved inside the bar.

This giant cone at Chillin’ Out Ice Cream in Kissimmee was built in 2002 as a rough approximation of the Twistee Treat design. I’ve got three pages of Twistee Treat buildings at my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/food/twistee.html

The George’s Tavern sign in Sanford could use a little paint. Here’s a photo I took in 2009 when it had been repainted the year before:

and now. The neon looks like it’s all there. GoFundMe, anybody?:

The giant gator mouth at Gatorland in Orlando was built in 1962 and is so nicely maintained. I’m glad this tourist attraction is still drawing crowds! Lots more giant gators at my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/critters/gators.html

The Makinson Hardware sign in Kissimmee was built in 1952. The business goes back to 1884. It would be fantastic if the neon on this one was restored one day.

This giant nativity group has been moved around a few times (Orlando and Apoka) but is now in a residential area in Altamonte Springs. The Florida “Giant People” section at my website is here:

https://www.roadarch.com/giants/fl.html

This dinosaur is located at the long-closed Volcano Island mini golf in Orlando. There’s another smaller dinosaur and a woolly mammoth still visible behind the chain link fencing:

This skateboard sign in Orlando was built for an electric skateboard shop around 2011. That store is gone but I’m sure glad that they kept the sign!

This place opened in St. Cloud in 1972. The sign appears to be from then:

This building in Orlando is supposedly a former gas station. I’ve done my damnedest to find out what station it was and what it originally looked like. It’s housed many restaurants over the years — the latest is an Asian fusion taco place:

Last photo for this post from Orlando. The shopping center opened in 1955 with this sign. The paint is getting pretty faded and the clouds didn’t help. Supposedly, the cowboy was animated originally but I’ve never seen a vintage photo to prove it:

Two more days and posts from Florida before we move on to Georgia.

By the way, I’ve also been simultaneously posting some different photos for each day’s shooting over at Flickr here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 20: Orlando Area

This cheerful sign has been located in Cape Canaveral since 2018 at what is now a combo winery, U-Haul rental office, and, yes, a juice stand:

Arbetter’s Chili Dogs started back in Miami in 1959. It grew to a mini chain with other locations in Hialeah, North Miami, Tampa, and two locations in Cocoa. A Miami location and this one in Cocoa are still operating. This Cocoa location was actually built as a Beefy King around 1968 and this sign is a sad remnant. The plastic panels were blown out by hurricanes and have been vinyl fabric since at least 2007. The middle part of the crown was most likely broken off by flying debris:

The intact crown was still there in 2019 at Google Street View:

Beefy King was founded in Orlando in 1967 and started franchising the following year. There were 107 franchises with other Florida locations as well as Memphis, TN and the Bahamas. In the early 1970s, the franchises were sold to another company which closed all of them. That’s when this Arbetter’s in Cocoa probably opened. Here’s what the Beefy King signs looked like (grand opening ad from 1967). This surviving Orlando sign looks the same, with recently replicated plastic panels. The crown detail on top was lost to a hurricane many years ago.

This Sandman Motel sign is in Mims. Surely, it had neon and probably porcelain panels. Still, there something charming about the hand-painted letters and rust. In 2004, the top half of the sign was blown off by hurricane winds. It was either found or replaced I don’t know if this was the original name. I can’t find any vintage postcards with this design or name:

This Sherwin-Williams sign is in Titusville. The Titusville Hardware Store was located there from 1913 until the early 1980s. I don’t know if this 1950s-looking sign was there then or added when the building was restored. I suspect the latter:

This surfboard-eating shark gets your attention in Cocoa Beach. For more shark statues, there’s a page at my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/critters/sharks.html

Hot Dog Heaven is located in Orlando. A giant fork which extends all the way to the ground serves as the sign pole:

The Orlando Milkhouse restaurant and bar opened earlier this year with this giant milk carton sign. It is located in the Milk District (named after the T.G. Lee Dairy) in Orlando:

The Plaza Theatre in Orlando features this rooftop sign:

This former Howard Johnson restaurant in Titusville from 1963 may not survive much longer. The motel was demolished in 2014 and this building is vacant:

This sign is at Wade’s Motor Inn in Titusville. The motel was built in 1961 and this sign looks to be from then. I can’t find any vintage photos to indiciate whether those channel letters are original or later additions. Some modern-day LED accents have been added to the squares:

Last photo for this post is this long-vacant, Polynesian-style building in Titusville which was built for Florida Wonderland in 1959. It operated until 1971 and survived a couple more years as Tropical Wonderland. This particular building housed the reptile house. The tourist attraction had themed areas like an Indian Village, a Wild West, a petting zoo and lots of snakes, birds, and monkeys. For more info and photos, see this FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/floridawonderland/

I’ve got about three more days/posts for Florida before we move on to Georgia for about a week.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 19: West Palm Beach to Melbourne

This is apparently a new sign at The Peach art collective and Troy’s Barbeque in West Palm Beach, FL. I think it went up earlier this year:

The Hotel Evernia in West Palm Beach opened in 1925 as the Hotel Enoree. This sign looks more 1930s/1940s. The hotel became the Evernia in 1979 and this sign was adapted then.

There are Claes Oldenburg giant typewriter erasers scattered around the country: Las Vegas, Seattle, Washington, DC, and this one in West Palm Beach. He made them from 1989-1990. For more Oldenburg sculptures of giant things, see my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/mim/old.html

Nozzle Nolen Pest Control in West Palm Beach was established in 1951. “Peanut” the elephant has always been the company’s mascot. This sign has been there since at least 1971. The text panel was updated at some point from a simple backlit plastic panel to this one with individual letters slapped on:

But the best thing is that the company still has these cute little mechanized elephants on the roof of some of its trucks. The elephant’s head bobs up and down when the engine is turned on. I have a video here at Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CQbG9DtFCIP/

This motel in West Palm Beach had been built by 1961 (the postcard postmark below) and this sign was there then:

It was originally over on the left and there was apparently a neon crown sign installed on the roof. There was something else over on the right where this sign is now but I can’t make out what it was:

Reed’s Motel in Avon Park opened in 1957 as Bennett’s Motel. The original pole sign was adapted later for Reed’s Motel and the diving woman was added then of after that. She originally wore a one-piece bathing suit:

By 2002, the arrow panel had been replaced with a smaller one. Then, in 2004, the sign was badly damaged during Hurricane Charlie. However, the original diver which is about 15 feet long survived. The rest of the sign was rebuilt and by then the diver was wearing a two-piece suit. The text panels’ shapes were changed a bit and the arrow was reduced to about half the size of the original. Here’s a photo that I took in 2009:

In 2018, the motel became a Budget Inn. The sign was removed by Souther Signs which built the replacement: a boring, short monument sign. The diver panel is now displayed in the window of the Pure Grit Boot Company where I shot it this summer. I don’t know if the arrow or text panels were saved. For more diving lady signs, see my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/sca/diving.html

This gorgeous Art Deco fire station is in Sebring:

This Twistee Treat in Sebring was built around 2015. For vintage and modern examples of these Twistee Treat buildings, I’ve got three pages worth at my website here:

https://www.roadarch.com/food/twistee.html

This trash can was installed by 2008. The turpentine industry has played an important role in the history of Lake Placid:

A few more buildings in West Palm Beach to finish off this post. Here’s an Art Deco detail from the Woolworth building. I have Woolworth buildings from all over the country here:


https://www.roadarch.com/dept/wmain.html

This nifty cleaners was built in 1967:

And lastly, this Esso gas station was built in 1962. It has housed Lynora’s Kitchen since around 2017:

I’ll be back soon with more goodies from Florida.

Happy trails
dj & the dogs

Day 18: Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach Area

Back to the Florida trip photos. Starting off with the Harbor Club in Fort Lauderdale. The apartment building was built in 1957 and is nothing special really except for the floating staircases and these cool mosaics:

The Premiere Hotel in Fort Lauderdale from 1964 still has the original neon letters:

The Schubert Efficiency Apartments in Fort Lauderdale were built in 1953:

The building now houses the Victoria Park Hotel. The sign is gone…:

… but it still has the nice relief panels next to the projecting windows:

The Sanctuary in Fort Lauderdale was built in 1961 as the Second Presbyterian Church. It is simply amazing inside and out:

The former Coca-Cola bottling plant in Fort Lauderdale was built in 1938 and is a twin to the one in Ocala. Here’s just one detail:

Let’s look at some gas stations. Here’s a well-preserved former Phillips 66 in Fort Lauderdale:

In Plantation, these hexagonal canopies are probably not all that old (1970s? 1980s?) but still wonderful:


In Oakland Park, I think this was built in the 1970s as a Gulf station. It now houses the Noor Bakery & Deli:

The Gateway Theatre in Fort Lauderdale. I fear this canopy with the readerboard will be gone soon. Horrible digital displays are really taking over:

These heads are installed at the Polynesian Gardens condo apartments in Plantation:

The Thunderbird Drive-in in Fort Lauderdale is now more popular for its Swap Shop. This sign surely had neon originally instead of those little LED strips. The nice curvy detail is sadly missing its bulbs:

This neon sign is inside the Swap Shop. I don’t know how vintage it is but the letters are wonderful:

This Publix Supermarket in Lake Worth was built in 2011. They recreated a “wings” detail from their 1950s-era stores:

Last but not least, this Lester’s Diner is in Fort Lauderdale. There are two other locations (Phoenix, AZ and Bryan, OH). The coffee cup originally poured a big bulb arrow:

That’s a wrap for now. Five more posts from Florida coming soon.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs