Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hippo Hardware

Hippo Hardware Store, 1921

Hippo Hardware has carried these signs since 1976. The most striking part of the display is the crowned and toga-ed hippos on pedestals adorning the six curbside columns. Hippo Hardware is on the corner of SE 11th and Burnside.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rebel SK8s

Building: 1950

This sign is obviously way out of the normal for the type I chronicle here. Two reasons: 1) I like it for its color, attitude and home-made quality. And 2) I'm lazy after a long Memorial day weekend. Enjoy this yourself at SE Ankeny at Sandy.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cromwell Tailors

Hippo Hardware Store Building, 1921

The back of the Hippo Hardware store at SE 11th and Burnside has this nice old sign. The top line is pretty sketchy but it's something like,

??? Tailored

The view is obscured by trees on SE 11th, so go down to SE 10th and Ankeny to see this sign.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009



There's very little of this "MORTGAGE LOANS" sign left to see. Most painted signs just fade into obscurity; this one is peeling off. I wouldn't give it too many years to be even this visible. The top photo is the best view of the sign, from the adjoining parking lot. The bottom photo is the sidewalk view. More ascetically pleasing but mostly obscured by trees.

This is on the east wall of the Old Wives' Tales restaurant at SE 13th and Burnside.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Balzer Machinery Co.

By the looks of the script, this sign looks like it may date back to the 1970s. It's degrading nicely and the original orange paint has a nice rust-like look about it. This is on the north side of the building; there's another similar one on the south side. See it from SE 8th and Lincoln.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Miller's Truck Parts & Equipment Co.


This still-colorful sign on the back of the Portland Engine Rebuilders shop has at least two layers. I can't read the yellow-lettered lower layer but the top white letters are still quite visible


The building is at SE 10th and Hawthorne; the sign is best seen from Madison.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Empire Rubber & Supply

Part of the Empire Rubber & Supply Co. complex at SE Water & Taylor suffered a fire in September 2008. During the ongoing restoration process most of the building has been repainted and the old signs on the west and north have not been restored. The east wall, facing the railroad tracks, has not been repainted and the old sign still remains.

For now this will go into the Extinct category. We'll see if all the signs reappear in the near future. Stay tuned...

2007 (west wall):
2009 (west wall):
2007 (north wall):
2009 (north wall):
2007 (east wall):
2009 (east wall):

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Salesroom 2nd & Taylor

Chas. H. Lilly Co. Building, 1911

The back side of the Chas. H. Lilly Co. building featured earlier has one more sign, this one on the west facing wall. It's below the all-too-obvious "CITY SIGN CO." at the top.

"SALESROOM ??? 2nd & TAYLOR" can be made out fairly easily. If you can read the word after Salesroom, let me know. You can see if from SE 2nd between Oak and Ash.