Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mission Orange

This once-colorful old Mission Orange sign takes some careful sleuthing to find. Tucked under some old cedar trees at the back of an old commercial building at SE 39th and Gladstone, this sign probably once advertised the orange soda at a long-gone grocery store at this location. An almost extinct sign just to the right of this could have been a grocery sign. Thanks again to Jay for telling me about this sign.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hugo Kern Furniture Refinishing

This "HUGO KERN FURNITURE REFINISHING" and the "CUSTOM UPHOLSTERY" sign above it have been on this west-facing wall of the shop on the corner of SE 39th and Gladstone for decades. The top sign even has a couple of generations of signs painted over. A nice bit of old signage, even though it is marred by some more recent electrical work.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Busy Corner Grocery

Busy Corner Grocery, 1910

The Busy Corner Grocery store has stood at the corner of SE 41st and Raymond for a hundred years. The signs aren't quite that old but they're not newbies either. Stop by and have a look some day; despite the name, the corner isn't so busy any more. Thanks to ghost sign fan Jay for pointing this out.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Wm. Landauer Groceries

Wm. Landauer Mercantile, 1891

I just discovered this beautifully restored sign at the corner of SE 30th and Stark Streets. William Landauer opened his grocery store here in 1891. By 2007 the building was leaning a foot-and-a-half to the southeast and had a giant tree growing into the basement. Read the story of the restoration here.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

7up Eat Cafe

We have ghost sign fan dot to thank for this find. Construction on the building just to the east of the Roseway Theater on NE Sandy at 72nd has revealed this classic old 7up sign. Was the cafe called the Eat Cafe? This sign will soon be enclosed or removed altogether, so see it while you can.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Goldstar Update

East Morrison Apartments, 1928

The old Goldstar sign featured last year is no more. Its removal revealed another, unreadable, ghost sign underneath.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Letson Garage

Letson Garage, 1927

I discovered a very nice old sign this weekend at 8513 N. Syracuse in St. Johns. It has signs on three sides of the building, all perfectly weathered and readable. Very classy.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dillen Rogers

Gumbo Gifts & Gallery, 1902

What a wonderful old ghost sign on the north wall of Gumbo Gifts & Gallery. I'd sure like to know what it said across the top but the rest is beautifully weathered and readable:

Eye Glasses A Specialty!

When you're at N. Mississippi and N. Beech checking this one out, stop in at Amnesia Brewery and hoist a pint on the patio just under the sign.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rhodes Bake-N-Serv Products

Northwest Fence & Wire Works Building, 1911

This is another beautiful sign wrapped around the south and west sides of the Northwest Fence & Wire Works Building (see previous post). The company developed Rhodes Bake-N-Serv Bread frozen dough in the late 1950s so this sign is probably half a century old. There's also a painted-over but still legible "Office" sign next to the main doors on the west side.

Check out this fine sign at NE 11th and Flanders and smell the modern-day Franz bread baking as an added bonus.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fashion Stables

Northwest Fence & Wire Works Building, 1911

This is a nice set of ghost signs, fairly weathered and mostly readable except for the windows cut into the wall during building restoration. The center reads:
The Fence Builders

Then on the left side:
... For All Loose
... and Hard Rock
Sand and Gravel Screens

See these beauties at NE 11th and Glisan.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Franz - Flavor Beyond Compare

Here's a nicely maintained sign on the side of the Franz Bakery building at NE 11th and Flanders. Stop in at the outlet store when you check this one out and take in some of the great bread smells in the area.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

4124 N. Miss Ave

These are certainly on a scale much smaller than the normal advertising sign, but quaint and endearing enough to warrant inclusion here. These small hand-painted address signs on tin plates have been embedded in this retaining wall for decades. Take a close-up look at (obviously) 4124 N. Mississippi Avenue.


Thursday, January 21, 2010


Here's a ghost sign on a much smaller scale. It looks like it might have said,

See for yourself at N. Brandon Ave. and N. Schofield St. Take a look across the street at the historic Kenton Firehouse Station 30 (1913) while you're there.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kenton Hotel

Kenton Hotel, 1910

The Kenton Hotel was abandoned during the 1980s and condemned and ordered demolished by the city in 1990. Fortunately, this fine building was rescued and restored and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The sign, "Rooms - Food - Parking" was nicely restored too. Check it out on N. Denver at McClellen, just south of Interstate.


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Very little remains of the signs that once graced the walls of this 1911 building at N. Williams Avenue and NE Failing Street. These views are the south wall and north wall respectively.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


McKay Brothers Block, c. 1890

This wall has had a rich history of signage but all detail is now lost to the weather. Part of the Widmer Brothers brewing complex, you can see this building at the corner of N. Russell Street and N. Mississippi Avenue.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wholesale Seeds

North Coast Seed Co. Building, 1928

Adjacent to, and just to the north of yesterday's post is this wonderfully weathered old warehouse. The words "North Coast Seed Co." spill over from the brick building to the left and "Wholesale Seeds" continues on this building. There aren't many old wood warehouse buildings left in Portland. You can see this best from the dead-end stub of N. Albina Avenue just off N. Interstate Street.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

North Coast Seed. Co.

North Coast Seed Co. Building, 1911

This old brick warehouse has a great selection of old signs, including "ACME ROLLED OATS," "PURINA BREAKFAST FOODS," and "OFFICE NORTH COAST SEED CO." on its north face. The east wall is a little more difficult to read, with maybe "FLOUR AND FEED" toward the top and of course "NORTH COAST SEED CO." at the bottom. Altogether a fine example of ghost signage at N. Albina Avenue and N. Tillamook Street, but easily visible as you pass on N. Interstate AVenue.

Now artist studios, you can read more about the history of this building here.