Meet Shawn Fitzwater, the artist restoring Homewood’s “ghost sign”

Shawn Fitzwater on the scaffolding on the side of the Trilogy Leather Building. Photo via Nathan Watson for BhamNow

From BahmNow: As a Birmingham history nerd, I love seeing the business signs painted on the sides of old buildings. However, these signs fade over time. That’s where Shawn Fitzwater, Birmingham’s ghost sign painter, comes in.

What is a Ghost Sign?

ghost sign is one of those hand-painted advertisements that adorn the sides of old buildings. I’m sure you’ve seen them around. Here are a few in downtown Birmingham:

  • Uniform House of Dixie on the corner of 3rd Avenue N. and 22nd Street S.
  • Dixie Cycle & Toy Co. on the side of 1709 1st Avenue N.
  • Lawyer’s Title Insurance Corporation on the side of the Title Building.

Some ghost signs have been around since the early 1900s!

Read More

Try delicious roadside dogs at Kermit’s Hot Dog House

As the neon sign behind the counter indicates, hot dogs are definitely the specialty at Kermit’s Hot Dog House, a North Carolina roadside classic. LARRY OLMSTED/SPECIAL TO USA TODAY

A USA Today photo essay.

Hudson’s Cosmic Cinemas theater closes, to re-open under Albany’s Madison management

The Hudson location of Cosmic Cinemas, the dinner-and-movie-house hybrid that once promised to renovate and re-open Albany’s historic Madison Theatre, shut its doors this week. Photo: Michael Williams / Albany Times Union

From the Albany Times Union: HUDSON — The Hudson location of Cosmic Cinemas, the dinner-and-movie-house hybrid that once promised to renovate and reopen Albany’s historic Madison Theatre, shut its doors this week.

The Fairview Avenue theater was closed and its lights were off Friday afternoon, during the theater’s normal operating hours. Signs taped to the doors and windows said, “There will be no showings today. We apologize for the inconvenience.” Cosmic’s website appears to be no longer active. Third-party movie ticket web pages list no future showings at the theater. And an employee at a liquor store next door said that the theater had been closed for about three days.

Read More

Next stop for landmark Holyoke train station: Restoration

The station is seen in its heyday in a 1888 photo taken by the well-known local photographer Milan P. Warner. COURTESY OF THE HOLYOKE PUBLIC LIBRARY

From the Daily Hampshire Gazette: HOLYOKE — The 19th-century architect Henry Hobson Richardson is widely regarded as one of the giants of his field, often mentioned in the same sentences as figures such as Frank Lloyd Wright.

Richardson’s work can be found across the Northeast, including in Holyoke, where in 1883 he built the Connecticut River Railroad Station at the corner of Lyman and Bowers streets. The granite and brownstone building is an architectural and historical gem, but it has long sat derelict, some of its boarded-up windows covered with graffiti, and no plan in place to preserve it.

Read More

Roy’s neon sign in Amboy shines again

Roy’s Motel and Café lit up the Amboy sky for the first time since the ’80s on Nov. 16. The sign will stay on for the foreseable future. Jene Estrada Hi-Desert Star

From the Hi-Desert Star: AMBOY –– The Amboy community traveled back in time last weekend as the historic Roy’s Motel and Café neon sign turned on for the first time in 35 years.

Roy’s Motel & Cafe was first opened as a gas and service station in 1938, on Route 66. Roy’sѕ was the only stop where drivers could find gas, a hot meal and a bed in the area so it was a hub for travelers. After the opening of Interstate 40, fewer and fewer tourists were taking the detour onto Route 66 and Amboy became the living ghost town that we know it as today.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Post comment