Thursday, July 31, 2008


Porter Hotel Building, 1898

This Coca-Cola ad is actually a series of three signs. The center panel on the back of the old Porter Hotel reads "Coca-Cola" while the left panel reads, "Delicious and Refreshing." The right side "Relieves Fatigue" panel is very hard to see from the street. The "Delicious and Refreshing" campaign dates to about 1904.

This is best seen from SW Ash between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Haseltine Building, 1893

This was probably quite a sign back in its day. The paint is now so faded that from the street you can barely tell there was an ad there at all. Admittedly not the greatest photos or angles, the 1994 photos show quite a bit more detail than is visible now. There probably won't be anything left 14 years from now.

The Haseltine Building was constructed as a mercantile building by James E. Haseltine, a wholesaler of various goods including hardware, hardwoods and wagon-making materials. You can see what remains of the sign from the corner of SW 3rd and Ash, or for a more complete view, go to the top of the Embassy Suites parking structure at SW 3rd and Pine.



Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wholesale Stationer

Scottish Bank Building, 1876

Very little can be made out on the ad on the south side of this building. The whole thing has faded quite a bit in 14 years but that's actually made it a bit easier to read. I can barely make out "WHOLESALE STATIONER" across the middle, and "PAPER DEALER" below that in the latest photos. The orange ball is a complete mystery; the first three letters look like "Sea..." but that's about it.

See for yourself on SW Pine between Naito Parkway and 1st Avenue.



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Piano Factory/Machinery/Unknown

Portland Machinery Building (now 208 Building), 1895
Seuffert Building (now Lombard Building), 1889

Perpendicular to the wall in my previous post is this pair of walls on adjacent buildings; the Portland Machinery Building in the background and the Seuffert Building in mid-field. The Piano Factory sign is painted atop the Machinery Co. sign, and both are quite visible still, but the closer sign, on the Seuffert Building, is unreadable now.

These two signs are slightly visible from SW 1st and Oak, but are almost impossible to see from the street. I was able to get a photo from the second floor of a building across Oak Street.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Delschneider Building

Delschneider Building, 1859

The west wall of the Delschneider Building is rich in advertising history. Very little is readable any more but bits of the many layers are there to be appreciated. "Ghirardelli's Chocolate" can be made out on the left side, as well as "Keene Cigars." Fragments of many old signs can be seen on the right side.

The Delschneider Building (the three story building at the far right) is the second oldest building in the Skidmore/Old Town area. It was first used as a factory by the Novelty Iron and Brass Works. You can see this great wall from the corner of SW 1st and Oak.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Portland Outdoor Store

Portland Outdoor Store, 1890

The signs on the east side of the Portland Outdoor Store were recently covered by vinyl posters; the vinyl lasted a couple of months while the signs, up and weathering for decades, still soldier on, although darkened/damaged by the glue used to stick up the poster.

I hope these signs are preserved and protected from further damage. The whole package - worn signs, worn building - is a Portland icon at the corner of SW 3rd and Oak.

2008 (after the vinyl blew down):

2008 (vinyl being installed):


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Update: Machine Work and Painting/Unknown

The Machine Work and Painting and unknown signs I documented are no longer visible. Construction of the 937 Condominium has covered both these signs.


Thursday, July 3, 2008


Bishop's House, 1879

This sign was painted over years ago, only a very faint trace remains on the west face. If not for the ending "S" this may not be visible at all. I haven't been able to come up with any historic photos showing what it may have said. See for yourself at SW 4th and Stark.

If anybody has an old photo of Bishop's House with an intact sign, let me know.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Furnished Rooms/Coca-Cola

Imperial Garage, 1923

This is another "reverse image" ghost sign. Years of direct contact with the painted sign transferred a reverse ghost image to the adjacent building. When the original building, with sign, was demolished in 1996, the reverse ghost remained. A parking structure was built on the site, at the corner of SW 3rd and Pine, in 1997, covering this sign.