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Archive for the ‘Ghost Signs’ Category

Avoid Parking Troubles

Built in 1925, the Roycroft Theater was one of three Capitol Hill movie theaters that showed movies at lower prices than the larger theaters downtown.  The growing popularity of television in the 1950s put many of these theaters out of business.  The Roycroft closed in 1959 and has been home to the Russian Community Center since 1960.

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Frank Duncan Co.

Frank Duncan Co: Shoe Findings and Footwear Distributors: The footwear distribution part I get.  But shoe findings? Well, apparently shoe findings are “small tools and materials other than leather used in making shoes” (The World Book Dictionary).  You learn something every day.  The remains of this ghost sign, which itself partially conceals an older sign to the right, are located on the north side of the Federal Army and Navy Surplus at 2112 First Avenue in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.  Not sure why they removed the top layer of bricks, but it’s an interesting effect.

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Tender Mercies of the Murphy

Man.  I am so far behind on my intended post on the Murphy Building that Lina Raymond had time to paint the place in the meantime.  And come up with a great title: Tender Mercies of the Murphy.  “A building that sort of saved me,” she told the Ballard News Tribune.  And not only that, but also a good vantage point from which to paint the former Epilogue Books and Ballard Camera buildings.  The Murphy Building is located on the corner of Market Street and 20th Ave NW in Ballard.  The above painting is part of Lina Raymond’s latest show at Portalis on Ballard Ave.

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Omaha - Kansas City - Denver - Seattle

Omaha, Kansas City, Denver, Seattle: Beebe and Runyan Furniture hit all the high spots.  According to the City of Seattle, they likely occupied this location in what was formerly known as the Denny Triangle from the mid-1950s to the 1970s, which might explain why the red paint still looks relatively fresh.  The building itself was built in 1910 as a warehouse with ground floor storefronts beneath an “overhanging classical cornice” since “lost.”  From about 1936 to at least 1955, the building was occupied by the Northwestern Furniture Sales Company.

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Palmer Apts on Ballard Ave

The former Palmer Apartments, this ghost sign, and the Palmer Building sit at the intersection of Ballard Ave and NW Dock Place.  Dock marks the spot, the end of the road as far as the Ballard Ave Historic District is concerned.  Dock Street Brokers occupy the former North Star Hotel building across Ballard Ave.  The old Berg Fuel Co shack and Ballard Hardware’s pipe yard are south across Dock Place.  There was something else painted below Palmer Apts, but it’s just about impossible to make out from the street.  It’s very faded and the newer building to the north is kind of in the way.

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Auditorium Cleaners in the alley

I don’t know how long this sign has been tucked away here with the dumpsters, but I only recently noticed it, despite walking past on many occasions.  The sign used to have pride of place over the main doorway that faces onto the five-way intersection at Fremont Ave N and N 35th Street, the space now occupied by Bliss Boutique.  An undated, but undoubtedly old photo in Helen Divjak’s book Seattle’s Fremont (pg.83), shows the space occupied by Auditorium Dye Works, advertised with a much smaller sign. 

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Fremont Drug Co -- Exposed

This tile sign is located in the entrance to what is now Jai Thai in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood and is usually partially covered by a door mat.  The Fremont Drug Co began life at 3401 Fremont Ave, as shown in this photograph from 1907, in the building that now houses the Red Door Ale House.

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