Day 31: More Northern Georgia

Moving on to a mostly Atlanta post. Let’s start with the giant Coca-Cola sign in Atlanta which has been around in a few different iterations since 1932. Here’s what the sign looked like in 1954, photo credit to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution — note that 44-foot-tall thermometer on the left:

That sign was removed in 1981 and a recreation was built in 2003. The current sign is a replacement from last year when the neon was swapped out for LED tubing. The Coca-Cola letters have always been sequentially lit bulbs. This sign is five feet wider than the sign shown above:

There’s also another giant Coke sign in Atlanta alongside I-85. I’ve done my best digging around and can’t find out how long it’s been there:

This giant piano sign is also visible from I-85 and has towered over Cooper Piano in Atlanta since 1983. That LED tubing might be original. There are a couple of similar giant pianos in Texas (and lots of other giant musical instruments) at my website here:

The Blue Bird Service Center in Atlanta was built in 1939. There were three giant bluebird signs then: one on the front of the building and two on the roof with two triangulated panels reading “Truck Stop” from the backside. Nick Fisher shot it in 1990 –

John Margolies shot one of the rooftop signs in 1984:

Today, the bird on the front of the building is still there, although the paint is pretty blah and that LED stuff is sad:

One of the rooftop birds was saved and leans up against the back of the building:

The Bootery signs in Atlanta may have been moved here from a previous location. They have been here since at least 1951. The upper, projecting sign was removed in 2011 — here’s a photo I got in 2006. Note that it had a parrot as well (for Poll Parrot Shoes):

Today, at least the script sign and the parrot below are still there. The store has been closed since around 2019. I doubt that these signs are protected, although they really should be. I’d love to think that they would be carefully repainted and lit again. Here’s hoping…

This little porcelain, pagoda roof building in Atlanta has made me crazy for decades. Normally, you’d think Chinese restaurant but it’s way too small. Its position (set back on the lot) and the current gas station in front suggest it may have been a gas station office. But I have never dug up anything about it:

I believe this building in Atlanta is from 1968. European Cleaners has been here since 1984. It may have been another cleaners before that.

This sign is in Tucker, GA. The panels are ripple tin indicating that it’s a true oldie and was always a painted sign:

The Majestic Shoe Repair store opened here in Atlanta in 1951. This sign is probably from then. The store is long gone but there’s a restaurant below (Brickstone Cafe) that must be footing the bill to keep the neon working:

I’m crazy for Martinizing One-Hour Cleaners buildings and signs. They built there gullwing-roofed buildings all over the country and there’s still at least a dozen in North Carolina, Virginia, and elsewhere — some still cleaners, some entirely different businesses now. This one in Tucker, GA is the only one that I know of that still has the Martinizing clock:

The Pipe Corner sign in Atlanta is another ripple tin sign. It’s been there since at least 1952. The ghosted bottom reads “Royal Cigar Co.” In 2015, there was a scare that the building was going to be demolished and the sign’s fate was unknown. But the building is still there and the sign is safe for now:

This sign in Atlanta was installed in 1956. It was restored in 2002 and although the letters could use some paint, the neon looks intact:

Last photo for this post. The Vortex Bar & Grill in Atlanta opened in 1996 with this skull entrance. The eyes are lit red at night.

A few more blog posts to come since I’ve got five more days of shooting from this trip left to PhotoShop and add to my website. I’d love to wrap it all up by the end of December but we’ll see how it goes.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

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