At one time, many of the buildings that lined some of Detroit’s busiest commercial streets had colorful hand painted signs on the sides of them. The signs promoted a variety of goods such as flour, clothing, soft drinks, auto parts, and many other items. Due to our harsh winter climate and the hot, bright sun of summer, many of the old signs found on the city’s older buildings are slowly fading away.
Several of the oldest signs I’ve spotted on my bicycle rides throughout the city go back at least 100 years, maybe further. Because of their age and exposure to the ever-changing outdoor weather, the flowing, stylish letters that were popular on the signs at that time are now almost impossible to read. Other signs out there feature decorative, one-of-a-kind illustrations that emphasize a particular product. Those, too, are also fading into the brick walls on which they are painted.
In earlier entries of this occasional series of Detroit’s fading wall signs, I’ve posted numerous photos of the old beauties. Sadly, a few of them have been lost since then because the buildings on which they were painted have been torn down. Also, a few others have been vandalized with spray paint, leaving only partial sections of the original elements visible.
Here is another set of fading sign photos I’ve taken on my bicycle rides in Detroit. I’m always amazed on how complex some of the aged hand painted signs were back then. I can only imagine what they must have looked like when they were freshly painted.
You can check out the previous entries in this series by clicking on the links below.