Thursday, February 27, 2014




A couple of years ago, a landmark OTR business, Smitty's, caught fire.  
This is what's left, across the street from the Kroger.  
(The first photo is not from the fire, but I used it anyway. Because I also like fire trucks.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Madison Road

Saw this a while ago, but it was always blocked by leaves on a tree.

We think the tree has been removed.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Liberty and Vine

There are plenty of Barq's signs across Cincinnati, but only two that we've found that aren't painted on walls.

Interesting to note, this is around the corner, on the front.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Right Angle, The Right Light

I always felt like there should be some ghost signage along Wasson, but never saw anything until Thursday.

Sure, it's really faded, and not much more than an address, but, the light was just perfect Thursday, and it revealed itself.

Friday, February 21, 2014

They've Done It Again

We heard about a great ghost sign in North Avondale, but when we got there yesterday, it was too late.
Artworks, already responsible for covering at least one other, did it again.

So, Mr Sullivan(?), your artwork is covered.
What did it look like?  The answer is here.

On the south side of the building on Reading, near Paddock, the Lenox Motors sign is just barely visible.

But, now that Artworks knows about it, they'll probably try to cover it too.

I like the theory behind Artworks: breathe new life into neighborhoods with vibrant color.  But, do they have to keep destroying history to do it?
Oh, sure, it's often the building owners who want what they consider an eyesore covered up, and they volunteer their walls for the art project.  But what if we applied that same strategy to buildings themselves?  Over-the-Rhine, with all its Italianate architecture, would have been razed years ago, and plain, boring, cost-effective structures erected in its place.
Every now and then, there's a huge outcry over a building that's left to deteriorate, and/or scheduled for demolition.  Where's the outrage over the destruction of ghost signs?   They give as much, if not more, flavor to a neighborhood than do modern murals.  And they're cheaper to keep, or restore.
I've been stewing over this for a while, and where last year I was merely annoyed, now I'm angry.
What is considered an eyesore today, is often heralded as beauty tomorrow.  Ghost signs lend character to a community.  They hint at history.  And we, as a culture, are doing worse than taking all that for granted; we're actively destroying it. 
Please, share this message with your friends.  And if anyone has pull with Artworks, please make the case for saving the ghost signs.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mt. Adams

You may have noticed some of the posts as of late, are not all that spectacular.
To be honest, we're not very impressed with carved signs, like these, but the stockpile is running low.
It's been a rough winter.

However, since we have the day off, we might do some hunting, and collect something a little more in line with what we consider quality ghost signs.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dead Letter Office

On our trusty map, it's indicated as Fairview, but, the Hamilton County CAGIS website says West End.  
Not that it matters.  But, it's in a nice little cluster of ghost signs, so we'll list it as both, so you can find them all on your next tour of local signage.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Previously Ignored

On 9th Street, between Main and Walnut, this is on the front of the building home to this now-famous ghost sign.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Court Street

Two doors down from yesterday's entry, there's this.  Oh, sure, it looks like just a black slab, but there's a sign underneath that black paint.  One can just make out the raised lettering.

We feel like Court Street ought to have more ghost signs than it does.  
It also reminds us of the Fisher Price Village Playset from the '70s.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Court Street

Every few days, there's signs of activity inside this mostly empty store front, as though someone is preparing it for a new business, or using it as a workshop.  But for years, it's been closed.

It's also where some kid tried to mug me, two years ago.  By my reckonning, he still has about a year left in the joint.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


This is between York and Findlay, in the same complex as this.  Visible only from the east.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sterling Ice Cream

Just gotta find a way to squeeze another Mockbee cameo in, don't we?
According to our sources, the former Sterling Ice Cream factory is now home to a moped shop and art studio space.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bridge Work

No, not the graffiti. Look beyond that.

And on the other side of the 8th Street railroad underpass.

So, who were McClintic-Marshall?  Just the guys who built the Golden Gate Bridge, which, as you may know, had as its chief engineer, a guy from Cincinnati.