Thursday, February 26, 2009

International Harvester of America

International Harvester Company Warehouse, 1912

"INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER OF AMERICA" is still barely visible along the top of this building where the railroad tracks cross SE Taylor. Also known as the Southern Pacific Railroad Company Warehouse, this building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Parts Dept.

Powell's Books, 1918

Powell's leaky and sagging roof is a treasure uncovered for me. My recent "USED CAR DEPT." posting highlighted a sign painted on a ceiling beam exposed during repairs at the bookselling giant's flagship City of Books store at NW 10th and Burnside. Ongoing repairs have uncovered another beam, this one identifying the "PARTS DEPT." of the Wentworth & Irwin auto dealership that once stood here. Pick up a Somerset Maugham or a Philip Roth when you're checking out this sign between "M" and "S" in Literature.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hotel Ray Update


I guess if this was a good advertising location 90 years ago, it's a good advertising location now although it sure isn't pleasing to ghost sign fans. As I posted last September, the demolition of Cindy's Adult Bookstore at the corner of NW 4th and Burnside revealed the old Hotel Ray sign on the adjoining building. Well, 2009 brought this obnoxious tin "U-Store Self Storage" sign, placed squarely atop the old Hotel Ray painted sign. I've placed this in the "extinct" category because it doesn't look like it's going away anytime soon. Sad.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Schoolhouse Electric Co.

Cully Building, 1884

While not an old sign, in fact it's quite new, this fine "SCHOOLHOUSE ELECTRIC CO." sign fits right in with other old-style signs in the city. The beautifully restored High Victorian Italianate Cully Building houses the light fixture company's retail showroom at SE Oak and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Used Car Dept.

Powell's Books, 1918

Before becoming Powell's City of Books on the corner of NW 10th and West Burnside, this building was home to the Wentworth & Irwin, Inc. automobile dealership. Recent construction inside Powell's revealed this nifty "USED CAR DEPT." sign painted on one of the huge timber beams. Check it out in Literature, between the "M" and "S" aisles. Some of these old bearing beams are quite cracked; if the ongoing repairs include replacing the beams, this sign may not be long for this world. See it while you can.


Thursday, February 5, 2009


W.B. Glafke Co. Building, 1917

In the center of Portland's Produce Row, this old sign at one time advertised, "SUNKIST - ORANGES - LEMONS" among other things over the years. It's on the east-facing wall of the Rinella Produce building from a previous post. The sign is pretty far gone now, and damaged by grafitti. The building sits at SE 3rd and Alder