Website Updates: Animal Statues

From the Gorillas and Monkeys page:
https://www.roadarch.com/critters/apes.html

This gorilla statue in Denver, CO was removed in 2019 when Snarfburger moved into the check cashing building. He had been there since at least 2008. I guess removing him bought them one more parking spot:

The good news is that they didn’t mess with the folded plate mid-century modern building:


I was heartbroken to find out that the bear in West Yarmouth, MA is gone. “Martin” was created in 1975 by T.J. Neil who made lots of mini golf figures and statues for other businesses. He was still there in 2017 but gone at Google Maps in 2019:

I was greatly relieved to find out that he’s been moved to the Yarmouth Country Cabins in South Yarmouth, MA:
https://www.capecodtimes.com/news/20170918/martin-bear-moves-to-new-home-in-south-yarmouth

The Chicken Cadillac at a used car lot in Oklahoma City, OK was still there in 2019 but gone by 2020:

Some “classic” Rooster statues are gone now. This one in Everson, WA was still there in 2018 but gone by 2019:

This one in Metamora, MI is also gone — there in 2018, gone by 2019:

This swan head was at the Villa Chalets in Lakeview, OH. It was still there in 2018 but gone in 2019. The adorable mini A-frame former motel rooms are still there:

I was worried to see this tiger wood-carving in McPherson, KS no longer visible where he stood when I took this photo in 2010:

but I did some searching online and found out that he’s been repainted and moved safely inside. “Toby the Tiger” is the mascot for Central Christian College. Here is is next to the library now:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ1ioc9hCDW/


Christiansen’s Dairy in North Providence, RI was established in the 1920s and closed in 2019. These cow statues and the sign are gone now:

The giant crab in Middle River, MD was still there in 2018 but gone by 2019. Here’s my photo from 2010, taken in the pouring rain:

This giant inflatable crab was installed on the roof of Nick’s Restaurant in West Swanzey, NH. Nick’s closed in 2019 and I doubt we’ll see the crab on the roof there again.

Fortunately, there’s one just like it in Worcester, MA which is still displayed in the summer:

This giant fish was installed on top of a restaurant sign in Pinewood Springs, CO. It was there in 2018 but gone in 2019:


This horse and cow in Skokie, IL are gone as of 2019:

This horse in Gansevoort, NY is gone as of 2020. The motel and house next door were boarded up in the most recent Google Map:

The Howling Wolf sculpture in Oakland, CA:

… has disintegrated in the sun and wind. Only the rebar frame is left as of 2020. I gave Cold Ice (where he is located) a call just now and they don’t know whether he will be repaired or removed:

This giraffe and gorilla in Austin, TX were at a home furnishings store. When it closed around 2019, the statues were removed:

The Giant Mouse in Waterloo, WI was installed in front of Jim’s Cheese Pantry. The store closed in 2018 and the statue was gone by 2019. Fortunately, there are still other mice like this one:
https://www.roadarch.com/critters/mice.html

The Octopus Car Wash in Sterling, IL closed in 2020, another victim to the economic hardship of COVID-19. I think this statue will be removed soon if it hasn’t been already. The real estate listing says “can’t use the Octopus Car Wash name or signs”:

That leaves only one location in Milwaukee, WI still operating with one of these signs. There are two of these statues displayed in Hayward, CA at Bell Plastics. For more about these statues and other octopi, here’s my page:
https://www.roadarch.com/critters/octo.html

That’s it for the Giant Animals. The next blog post will be covering Giant People statues.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

More Website Updates: Diners

Let’s start with some updates to my Diners section.
https://www.roadarch.com/diners/1.html

I’m crazy about those cute little Valentine diners and I’m happy that this one is in good hands. The Suzie Q Cafe in Mason City, IA got new owners in 2019 and the building was restored/repainted. It reopened in 2020. Here’s one of my photos from 2009:

And its spruced-up look now at Google Street View:

On the other hand, this Valentine in Ellinwood, KS could really use some love. Here’s a photo that I took in 2010 when it was obviously being used as a storage bin:

And what Google now shows in 2019. I’m really worried about that rust:

I never got a photo of this one in Liberal, KS. Google shows it in 2019 (sorry for the quality) but gone in 2020:

Good news! It’s now on display inside the Mid America Air Museum in Liberal (from Bob’s Diner Facebook page):

This Mountain View diner ca. 1956 in Trenton, NJ disappeared between the Google SV maps of 2018 and 2019. I scoured the internet but could not find out if it was moved or demolished:

This diner in Brooklyn, NY housed the Relish Restaurant when I took this photo in 2009:

In 2014, it was announced that an apartment building would be built on the site. If the diner was not sold and moved, it would be demolished. When it closed in 2019, everyone thought that was the end of it. However, Google Street View from November 2019 shows that it is not only there but housing Carol & Dottie’s Diner. A last hurrah or did plans for apartments fall through? I’ve scoured the internet and can find nothing:

The Main Street Diner in Norristown, PA is also gone as of 2019. There’s nothing online that reveals whether it was moved or, more likely, demolished. Here’s a photo I took in 2009:

The long-abandoned Valentine diner in Pine Bluffs, WY is beyond repair now. Here’s one of my photos from 2012:

And the new Google Street View from 2019 shows that the entire front of the building and roof are gone:

The Trolley Car Diner in Philadelphia, PA closed in 2019. It’s not known yet what will happen with the diner and Len Davidson’s animated neon sign:

but the 1948 streetcar which was installed at the same site will be moving near The Fillmore music venue where it will continue to be used as an ice cream stand:

That’s enough for now. The next post will be covering Animal statues.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

More Website Updates: Dealerships & Mini Golf

Let’s start with the Car Dealership Buildings section and (finally!) several good news stories. This building from 1935 in Long Beach, CA was originally a dealership or garage. In the late 1960s/early 1970s, it was used for car storage and sales. My research has come up dry for any more details:

The building was restored from 2018-2019 and, at the end of 2019, opened as Trademark Brewing. Google Street View doesn’t show the current view but here’s a photo from this article:

https://whatsfordinneresq.com/2020/01/09/a-family-visit-to-trademark-brewing/

The building next door got a restoration/makeover at the same time. A couple of my photos from 2013:

It was built as Carlyle Nibley Packard in 1926. Here’s a vintage photo:

The building now houses the Long Beach Rising gym. I can’t find any exterior photos (roadtrip very soon) but I’m thrilled that they preserved the interior, elegant staircase. These were very common during this period for dealerships:

This building was built for Palm Beach Cadillac dealership in 1925 in West Palm Beach, FL. Here’s what it looked like when I shot it in 2009:

By 2014, it was housing the EmKo art gallery. It’s been painted a few times and now also houses Todd’s, a restaurant/bar. Here’s Google from 2019. I’ll get photos in June:

This building in Muncie, IN originally housed Paul Abel Motors. It looked to be from the late 1940s/early 1950s. The building was still hanging on in 2018 but was gone by 2019. My photos from 2010:

The former Zell Motor Car Co. building from 1920 in Baltimore, MD has been adapted for retail and office space. Here’s a vintage photo from the 1940s:

It was looking pretty shabby in 2010 – my photo:

And from Google as of 2019 — they are supposedly going to recreate the scaffold sign on the roof like the one in the vintage photo above:

Moving on to the Mini Golf section where the news is not as rosy.

The remains of the Arnold Palmer Putting Couse chain course in Birmingham, AL is officially gone. Houses there now. I don’t believe the only Arnold Palmer courses still standing and operating are in Auburn, NY and two or three in England. A couple of my photos in memorium:

The Putt-Putt Golf in Elk Grove Village, IL had been closed since 2008. I got some photos in 2012 when the obstacles and statues were already gone. The course was finally de-greened and the fence removed by 2019. Nothing left but some concrete bits:

The Putt-Putt in Richmond, IN was still nice-looking and operating in 2018. Here are a couple of my photos from 2009:

But it had closed and was for sale in 2019. Putt-Putt has removed it from their website. The sign and the classic overhead lights are still there but it looks pretty shabby now. Sure, new greens (most courses replace them annually anyway) would change everything but I’m not feeling good about this one. At least, there are three other Putt-Putts still operating in Indiana and plenty of others in other states:

The Breezy Acre Mini Golf in Charlestown, RI was still operating in 2014. It looked maintained in 2018. Such a sweet little place. Here’s one of my photos from 2003:

But Google says it’s now “permanently closed” and reveals mama nature taking over with knee-high grass on the course. I think the greens and obstacles are still there. Let’s hope for a miracle:

The Trafalga Fun Center in Lehi, UT is still operating. However, this view of the Mount Rushmore statue:

and the roller coaster that goes inside will soon be blocked from the interstate view, if it’s not already, by a concrete wall:


That’s enough for now. I’m moving on to the Diners and Giant Animals sections next.

Happy trails,
dj

Another Round of Website Updates

From the Giant Things section: this giant rolled-up newspaper in Columbus, OH was installed on the roof of Columbus Business First:

From the latest Google Street View, in 2019, it was repainted for Versa, the building’s new tenant:

The giant cassette tape in Howell, NJ was removed around 2019 when The Record Store closed:

This giant football canopy support in Green Bay, WI was next door to the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. My photo below is from 2007. This building was demolished in 2019. The illustration at the development site shows a huge, modern building going up in its place:

This Giant Golf Bag at the Clayton County Club in Clayton, NY was still there in 2018 but gone by 2019:

On to the Dinosaur Statues section. This cutie in Fruita, CO is gone now. I’m hoping he was moved somewhere. I emailed the Chamber of Commerce where he stood to find out what happened to him – no reply:

I’m relieved that nothing has happened with the Prehistoric Forest property in Onsted, MI. The park closed in 2002 and that the statues are in good hands, for now. I did a little trespassing in 2005 and got photos of the fiberglass statues. How could I not? The owner called the cops on me but I escaped before they got there. Ah, youth:
https://www.roadarch.com/dinos/mi3.html

Here’s a nice little video from 2019 with the current owner. Could someone please start a GoFundMe page and raise a half-million dollars so that we can get this place back open?

Google Street View has the updated map for the Bayville, NJ dinosaur. Here’s a photo that I took in 2009:

In 2019, the statue was completely restored after being decapitated by traffic for the umpteenth time. More about the history of this guy who dates back to 1925, in one form or another, at my website here:
https://www.roadarch.com/dinos/nj.html

And in his current glory – with a longer tail and his head turned slightly to the left for protection:

Moving on to the Department Stores section: this is going to be brutal. This former J.J. Newberry store in Mars Hill, ME closed in the 1980s but the sign hung on until around 2018. My photo below from 2009:

And here’s what Google Street View shows now. I’d like to think the sign and the nice brick are safe under all that horrible siding but…

This building in Cincinnati, OH housed a J.J. Newberry from around 1936-1949. It is currently being stripped down to its much earlier look. I’m sad about it since I really liked this look better. Here’s what the building looked in 2012:

and the surviving Newberry letters on the side (nothing is mentioned in articles as to what’s happening with those):

Evidently, the building is actually two buildings underneath. After a fire around 1950, this modern brick slipcover was put around them and the top two floors were removed. Google doesn’t have the latest look yet but in January, removal of the facade began, revealing the 1890s details. Here’s a video describing the history of the building and what they are doing:

https://local12.com/news/local/downtown-redevelopment-project-reveals-victorian-era-facade-cincinnati
and what the details will look like once done:

This former Woolworth in Idaho Falls, ID has been stripped of its remaining details. This Odd Fellows Lodge was built in 1908 and Woolworth was there from 1920-1975. Here are my photos from 2014 showing the classic red porcelain enamel adapted sign and tile entrance:

From 2019 Google: those features are gone now and the set-back entrances have been flattened up with the facade. I guess that former neon IOOF sign on the corner also got chucked or sold. Unless, by some miracle, they plan to restored it and stick it back up. Major bummer:

From the Post-Register, here’s an illustration of the planned finished product — note the big-ass arch on the front that recreates the original. But they didn’t bother replicating the nicer arch further left. Nor did they take the time/trouble/$$ to recreate the round window above the center arch:

The moral of the story based on this Idaho building and the one above in Cincinnati is that 1800s still beats out just about anything that came later in most people’s minds and that cities have no problem at all yanking off “real” things from the 1940s-1970s in order to recreate “fantasy” turn-of-the century stuff. That’s my two-cent observation/lecture/grievance.

The Art Deco features of this Woolworth in Monmouth, IL has been covered up with horrible siding. Here’s my photo from 2012:

and as of 2019 – dark grey is so popular right now. I’m hoping this can be undone someday:

The former Woolworth in Hackensack, NJ looked like this when I took these photos in 2011. Simple and lovely Art Deco details (okay, painted sketchy weird colors) and vintage sign (behind the plastic crap):

In 2018, I was optimistic that the terrazzo apron was still there and that the facade would be returned once the work was done:

Ah, but now that the 2019 map is there at Google, apparently not:

Apparently, they are sorta kinda adding some weird details in homage to the former building as the new “Woolworth Residences”. I couldn’t find photos so they might not be done yet but here’s an illustration. Note the flat brown sign above the ground floor — just not the same as the porcelain enamel red with stainless steel detailed trim:

Hopefully, there will be some better news in the next post! The good news is that in the more than 500 pages that I’ve gotten through at my site so far, most things are still there and in good shape. Glass WAY more than half full!

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

More Website Updates

I’m working away on the sections looking for any broken links to external websites and checking the most recent maps in my descriptions. There was nothing noteworthy in the Drive-in Theatres section. The remaining signs and screen towers all seem to be in place. Here are some updates to the Tire Stores section.

This former Firestone in San Jose, CA with nice mid-century modern details like the floor-to-ceiling glass windows and multi-colored square tiles was demolished in 2019:

Some good news! The Firestone building in downtown Los Angeles, CA was vacant for a few years but now after some sensitive adapting, it’s reopened as a brewery and taco place. Here’s a photo I took in 2016 when it was fenced off:

It’s current look from the L.A. Eater article…
https://la.eater.com/2021/2/23/22297834/los-angeles-historic-firestone-building-la-brea-all-season-brewing-chicas-tacos-open-inside-new
… the porcelain enamel panels, the neon sign, the freestanding letter signs, and the Art Deco canopy — all still there:

Another redevelopment going on at this Firestone in El Paso, TX. Here’s one of my photos from 2017:


The building is from 1929 and Firestone moved into it in 2001. Firestone left around 2015 and another tire shop (GCR) moved in. From Google Street View in 2020 — with the fencing around the building:

The building is currently being adapted for office space. The rooftop neon sign will stay and be “refurbished.” As we all know, the definition of that word can mean many things.

**********************

Finally, some signs! From the SCA section. I’ve been writing the features and news columns about signs for the Society for Commercial Archeology for nearly 15 years. For nearly all of the Journal articles, I put together a companion page at my website with other signs of the same type or theme. I’m currently working on a feature called “Home Sweet Home” and just found out that this sign in Lake George, NY disappeared around 2019. My photo from 2011 is below. If you’d like to see the other house-themed signs that I’ve assembled so far, here’s a link to that article’s page-in-progress:
https://www.roadarch.com/sca/home.html

The Neo-Lectra that stood at a used car lot in Austin, TX, since probably the 1960s, was removed in 2019. For more about these signs, see my page here:
https://www.roadarch.com/sca/roto2.html

This sputnik-style sign in Waterloo, IA is also gone. It was installed on a very tall pole at a used car dealership when I took this photo in 2009. It was still there in 2012. By 2019, the entire sign: pole, crappy sign panel, and sputnik were gone. More of this type of sputnik at my website here:
https://www.roadarch.com/sca/roto3.html

From the Scaffold Signs subsection of the SCA section, the Utz Potato Chip neon sign is gone. Here it was when I shot it in Baltimore, MD in 2003:

The sign pieces were moved to Philadelphia, PA in 2010 and installed on a billboard. My photo below is from 2012. The billboard was replaced with unrelated advertising around 2019. I don’t know what happened with the Utz sign pieces. This removal may have been part of the rollout of the new, redesigned Utz Girl mascot?
https://www.phillyvoice.com/utz-girl-mascot-new-look-logo-pennsylvania-snacks-potato-chips/

There will be lots more signs when I get to that section, many posts from now. That’s the second biggest section and I’m proceeding from the smaller sections to the biggest. I’ve made it through about 350 pages with more than 2,000 pages to go. Another post soon…

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

And So it Begins… the Website Updates

My annual website updating project is underway. This will keep me busy until probably June or so. It entails combing every single thing, every single page, at my website to find broken external links, check maps for current status of things (demolished, repainted, etc.), and update the descriptions about those changes. It also means lots of mostly depressing blog posts about what’s been lost and good news when I can find any. Buckle up.

Let’s start with a couple from the Tiki Buildings section. By the way, for this project, I always start with the smallest sections and work up to the big ones. So, if you are looking for signs and/or mid-century modern buildings, those won’t be posted for a few months.

The Fiji Island restaurant in Roanoke, VA opened in 1972 and had a nice little entrance. I never got a chance to check out the interior but here’s my photo from 2007:

The business closed in 2019 and last year it began housing a gaming store. They painted the building the most depressing shade of gray that they could find and removed the sweet tiki elements – photo credit to Roanoke Times:

In 2019, the Ala Moana Apartments in Costa Mesa, CA were renovated for the Apex Apartment Homes. The lava rock, fountain, and mini bridge are gone but at least the A-Frame is still there. Here are a couple of my photos from before the renovation:

And here’s what it looks like now at Google Street View:

I’m happy to say no major changes to the things in the Paul Bunyan Statues, Statue Collections, Egyptian Revival Buildings, or Teepee Building, Fairy Tale Parks, and Giant Food sections. From the Giant Containers section, this Pepsi bottle at a liquor store in Struthers, OH was repainted around 2017. Here’s my 2010 photo when it still had a faded Pepsi Free label:

Pepsi Free was only produced from 1982-1987 so there was probably another Pepsi label (or other brand) before that. Here’s what the bottle looks like now from Google SV. I’m so glad (and surprised) that they are taking care of it:

The Giant Milk Bottle on the roof of Dairyland Ice Cream in Irvington, NJ disappeared from the roof in 2019. I’d like to think it’s being restored but… seems unlikely. I tried calling them to get the story but their phone number is not working. I’m thinking the place is closed now — my photo from 2009:

The Frostop mug on the roof of the long-closed location in Salem, OH has been missing since 2019. Here’s what it looked like in 2009:

The World’s Largest Teapot in Chester, WV now has a buddy. A creamer was built in the mid-1970s but had been in storage for many years. It was installed next to the teapot in 2015 when it was repainted and Google Maps shows it now. One of my photos from 2012:

and what it looks like now with the creamer:

Note that text was added above the walk-up windows with the new paint job. I don’t think it’s historically accurate but hey. Here’s a postcard from when the teapot was at the pottery shop in town.

From the Bus Stations section, the former Greyhound station in Athens, GA has another new tenant. Here’s my dreary photo from 2009:

It was a gift shop for a while after that. When that business closed in 2019, the building was rehabbed and began housing Chuck’s Fish. There were a few changes to the building (that extra canopy on the left, the glass block at the former entrance added, the windows on the right replaced) but the waiting area canopy on the right was preserved. The bus sign had been missing since around 2015:

The Greyhound station in Eugene, OR closed in 2018. The sign was removed and the windows were boarded up. Here’s a vintage photo postcard of the station:

A photo that I took in 2015:

And what it looks like in 2019:

From the Bottling Plants section, the Coca-Cola building in Fairmont, WV had its relief panels removed. My photo from 2012 when the building had already been bricked up and messed with:

Clearly still vacant and the new Google Map from 2019 shows it without the panels. Did the idiot developers think that would make the property more desirable or did they sell off the panels to a collector/antiques dealer for a fast buck?:

To end with some good news, this former Coca-Cola building in Palatka, FL was in sad shape when I took photos in 2009:

In 2019, work began on the building and, in 2020, it opened as the Azalea City Brewing Co. I can’t find any decent photos of what the building looks like now but it’s basically the same, with the windows uncovered. Here’s what the interior looks like (from Azalea’s website) — looks great!:


I’m moving on to other sections now. I’ve only combed about 200 of about 2,700 pages so far, so this will take time. I’ll be back soon with more good news/bad news.

Happy trails,

dj & the dogs

Days 33, 34 & 35: Oklahoma, Home & Wrap-up

I’m really glad that I took the last two days of this trip to do some Oklahoma shooting on my way back home. Although I was exhausted from pounding away for more than 30 days with non-stop shooting and driving, I was rewarded with glorious sun and I got tons of great photos. Then, it was just a matter of a nearly 1,500 mile jaunt on the interstate. Oy.

I’ve been adding each day’s photos to my website as I’ve been adding these samplings of photos to Flickr and this blog. So, I’m thrilled to report that everything is up at my website. If you want to see the result, have a look at your favorite topics/sections for Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, Texas, etc. for new additions. Granted, I only got to about half of my planned Florida stuff, and only about 10% of the Alabama/Georgia stuff (“makeup” trip in June) but you’ll still find loads of new places/things and reshooting in sun or showing physical changes to what was already there.

To sum up this five-week trip from mid-August to mid-September….
14,798 miles (3,866 with Sparkle & 10,932 with Gator), about 3,000 photos, $2,134 on gas alone… a new van, a new dog…. quite monumental!

Let’s move on to some Oklahoma stuff. I’ll stick with signs since that’s what most of my blog fans can’t get enough of. Let’s start with a big batch from Oklahoma City. These two below are modern signs. I had the sun in my face/lens, so, I’ll reshoot another time. This evil looking fish is at Pearl’s Crab Town:


This one was built & installed around 2012. If you’d like to see some vintage pizza-flipping signs, check out this page at my website:
https://www.roadarch.com/sca/pizza.html


This one is at Forest Lumber:


A nice lava-rock facade and “floating” metal letters:


This modern sign with faux patina was created by Todd Sanders of Roadhouse Relics in Austin, TX:

This is a modern sign — built to replicate a long-lost sign that was on this building:


A bunch of legit vintage signs. This one at the Cattlemen’s Steakhouse:

The Club House Market opened in 1947 and is still operating:

Comfort Air Conditioning:

The long-closed Metro Cleaners:

So much to look at here:

Former Nu-Way Cleaners:

A modern replica sign from 2014 installed on a former Buick dealership building on Automobile Alley:

Puckett’s Wrecker is still operating:

A modern sign at Stockyard City:


The “entombed” Union Bus station sign. When they demolished the beautiful building and built the new hideous building, they saved the sign and for whatever dumb idea, put it behind glass waaaaay up high. At least they could have had single sheets of glass instead of all those ribs which makes shooting this nice sign with any justice nearly impossible:


This guy originally held an animated hammer for a hardware store. His hammer was transformed into a wad of cash when he began advertising for the pawn shop below:

Moving on to elsewhere in Oklahoma. Nice metal letters for this one in Enid, OK:

Also in Enid — why they covered up “National” on this side, I don’t know:


This orphaned John’s Apparel sign is in Ponca City:

Another sign from Ponca City:

This drug store in Crescent, OK goes by another name now but the Hood’s Drugs panels were saved and installed on the side of the building:

Moving on to a pair of signs in Enid, OK. This one was originally neon but hey – just glad it’s still there:

This sign originally advertised for Quality Cleaners & Dry Cleaners:

Let’s wrap up this post with some signs from Guthrie, OK. This sign was restored a few years ago, however, the top is already fading:

A modern sign at Stables Cafe:

This sign had been repurposed to read “Antique Mall” by 2008. I don’t know what the original wording was or if it came from somewhere else. I have seen a lot of those “doo-hickeys” on top of the sign in Louisiana. I don’t think I’ve seen them anywhere in Oklahoma other than some similar things on top of theatre signs. However, there was never a theatre at this location.

And, lastly, one of my favorite topics (okay, I have thousands of favorite topics) is car signs and this one is good enough to please me very much even though it’s probably from the 1970s (?). If you’d like to see older car signs, you might enjoy this page at my website:
https://www.roadarch.com/sca/cars.html

Going quiet for awhile now while I start building lists and maps for June’s trip. I also want to get through all nearly 3,000 pages at my website to check on possible broken external links and check maps for everything to make sure that things are still there and to update descriptions if they have changed in some way. I’ll start posting “highlights” (news from this process) here as I go.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 31 and 32: Alabama

Some clouds but mostly a great day for shooting. Day 32 was spent behind the wheel on the interstate heading from Alabama to central Oklahoma.

Let’s start with this Chevy dealership in Heflin. The business moved in 2008 and this sign was moved inside the building:

This old used car sign still remains at the old building which is now used as a body shop:

Another one from Heflin. Around 2019, the neon was removed from this sign and the panels were repainted:


This sign in Bessemer looks old enough to be “vintage”:

but I’m pretty sure that this sign over the entrance is new:


This abandoned used car dealership sign is in Bessemer:

A former Stop-N-Go car wash sign in Sylacauga. I don’t know how many locations there were but there is one other surviving stoplight sign like this in Selma:

From Anniston: a very rare still-operating Western Auto store:


Let’s wrap up this post with a bunch of signs from Birmingham:


I’ll be back soon with stuff from Oklahoma City in the final post from this trip.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 29 & 30: Finishing up Florida

This is where things went all wrong weather-wise. The rain started in the morning and hardly let up. I finally gave up on Miami & southern Florida and moved north. Checking the weather forecasts on my phone, there was nowhere else to go really. Rain everywhere in northern FL, and all of Georgia & Alabama. I tried to be patient but with only a few days of vacay left before I had to get back to work at home, I just set aside all the pages of stuff that I had intended to shoot. Boo-hoo. I made the decision to blow off the big 2021 trip to Wyoming, Montana, etc. and come back to finish up what I had to give up on this time. Some people continue to shoot in dark grey & rain but I’ve long gotten over that. It only means crappy photos that you have to reshoot. It seems a big waste of gas money although there’s always the risk that when you return what you wanted to shoot will be gone.

Since very few photos from these two days, I’m combining into one blog post. Let’s start with these two modern neon/plastic combo signs in Stuart which are next door neighbors. I assume the same business owner:

From Del’s Freez (originally a Tastee-Freez) in Melbourne. This sign has been repaired a number of times but they are still using a neon outline instead of cheap & tacky LED:


Miserable weather in Rockledge. But this orange stand at Harvey’s Groves has been closed for years. Better shoot this guy now! He originally revolved.


Let’s take a little break from signs. Here’s a nice midcentury bank in Indiatlantic. The floating mushroom canopy is installed in the courtyard behind the bank and in front and the office building behind it:

These giant conch and clam shells were installed in front of the Shell Bazaar in Port St. Lucie in 1955:


This lonely screentower from 1949 is all that remains of the Fort Pierce Drive-in (in Fort Pierce):

These dolphins are installed in front of Sandy’s Furniture in Vero Beach. If dolphins are your thing, I’ve got a bunch over at my website here:
https://www.roadarch.com/critters/dolphins.html


A 13-foot-tall Space Shuttle replica in Melbourne at the Space Coast Stadium:

OK — let’s wrap up with some signs — and moving on to dreary Georgia. These are from Valdosta:


The current reviews of this motel are not so “jolly” and the rates have been updated over the years (1960s-ish postcards show it as “$8 up” and later “$9.88 up”):


I don’t know what this next-door-neighbor sign advertised for originally. But it’s last gasp was for the Quality Inn. The “Quality” letters are gone now but the motel is still operating. I wish I could find a postcard for this one. I’d love to know what those tall poles supported (plastic ballies or ???):

Last one — which I had to shoot from about 1 mile away to get the sunny side which is only visible over the roof. Hence, the blur. These Martinizing Cleaners signs were mass-produced but there are only a handful left. There’s no hope of this one being restored since the cleaners itself is long gone.

More soon from Georgia & Alabama.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

from the last day in Florida — Orbie on the left was so little then. He’s a beefcake now.

Day 28: Miami & Miami Beach

This was a big shooting day. Mostly buildings (hundreds of mcm/Deco stops) but a few signs here and there.

This electronic clock is a real turn-on to me. Originally installed for the Miami Beach Federal Savings & Loan — sorry you can’t see because of the glare but it’s still operating, alternating between time and temp. Here’s a vintage pcard showing the bldg which I believe was built in 1956:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/hollywoodplace/48570161726/


Some stuff from Miami Beach:

Here’s a nice Art Deco detail from the Marlin Hotel:

This still-operating Publix supermarket is from 1962 and still has the “Where Shopping Is A Pleasure” neon lettering:

Originally a Burdine’s department store — became a Macy’s but still has the company’s neon brand name on the building:

This sign was built in 2012 during the restoration of The Regent Hotel and Cocktail Club as a replica of the original from 1941:


Here’s a detail from the former Nolan-Peters “Cadillac Salon” which had been covered up since the 1940s. It was restored in 2020:

Let’s wrap up with this neon two-fer from 1948:


That’s it for now. Don’t forget the other photos over at Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs