Here it is: the final installment of a gruesome and grueling project. So much loss in the past couple of years. I know it’s devastating but I’m hoping it will be a motivator for everybody to get out on the road while we still have things to see and shoot. Don’t forget to give a wave & a thumbs-up as you are out there shooting the sign/building/statue or go inside and to tell the business owner how much you love – REALLY REALLY LOVE — their sign/bldg/statue. Count the ways of how it stands out among all the dreck, how beautiful it is, and how it is huge attention-getter for potential customers, how important it is to the community as history and art, while a personal marker for locals and an attraction for tourists. I know, I’m preaching to the choir. But if you could just gush a lot to whoever is manning the register inside and/or the manager, I KNOW that it really does make a difference.
Enough of my lecture. Let’s move on to some more bad news, shall we?
Starting in Ohio. In Lorain, OH, this sign is gone:
This one in Cincinnati, OH — gone:
As for Oregon, this one in Baker City, OR — gone
In Pennsylvania — this revolving M&Z Carpet sign in Harrisburg, PA…
has been updated with backlit plastic letters. The neon borders also gone:
From the Rexall Signs section: these signs in Idaho Falls, ID are gone:
only the little plastic Rexall panel on the far left remains:
These signs in Chicago, IL are also gone:
In Reese, MI — also gone:
In South Carolina, this beauty in Orangeburg is gone:
As for South Dakota, this one in Aberdeen is gone:
In Tennessee, this one in Nashville is gone:
A bunch of signs in Texas have disappeared — the heaviest hit city was El Paso.
The Gran Mercado sign:
… has been painted over in this mess:
In Houston, TX, this one is gone:
In Austin, TX, this one on Lamar is gone (the identical sign on Guadelupe is still there):
This one in San Marcos, TX.…
… has been replaced with this:
As for Utah, this one in Blanding has been replaced with a boring plastic box:
In Washington, this one in Anacortes is gone:
This one in Grandview, WA is gone:
The neon and hand painted mountains on this sign in Sedro-Woolley, WA….
… has been replaced with backlit plastic letters and peaks:
The Elephant Car Wash in Tacoma, WA closed and was replaced with another car wash. This sign …
…was altered/repainted like this:
The surviving Elephant Car Wash signs are at my website here:
In Ephrata, WA, this sign’s neon text has been removed and the panels covered up with other panels for another business. Luckily, they left the dragon alone:
In Fife, WA, this sign disappeared due to major roadwork next to it. When I spoke with the desk clerk, he wasn’t sure if the sign would be reinstalled or if something new would replace it:
In West Virginia, this one in Charleston is gone now:
And lastly, from Wisconsin, this one in Lander is, you got it, gone:
So, that’s that. My website is as current as can be with all 72,000 or so external links checked, countless Google Streetview maps checked. Not a fun task but necessary and never finished. I predict next winter’s posts will be just as heartbreaking. But, on the bright side, there are miraculously thousands of other signs still in place, as well as thousands of statues and buildings sure to amaze and make you smile. Have a look at your favorite sections or use that search box below the yellow bar on the top left at any page to look for cities, biz names, etc. Favorite “roadarch.com” so you can plan your future adventures.
That’s just what I’m about to do! I keep huge lists for every state of things that I want to shoot and reshoot. I’ll be doing a few roadtrips here in California in the next few months to test out my van, camera, laptop, and aging body before embarking on the big 5-week trip to the Southeast in June. The next posts will be much more cheerful as I document things that still exist and things that you’ll want to add to your own to-shoot lists.
Happy trails and happy 2020!
dj & the dogs