At the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts.
The Troy Waste Manufacturing Company Building has been a major presence on upper River Street since about 1909 (the company is even older). It’s on the National Register of Historic Places, and it appears that (once again) redevelopment plans are in the works. If the building doesn’t get the respect it deserves, perhaps it’s because it literally has a shoddy history. (Apologies if you get the pun; you’re welcome, if you don’t.) If those predicted apartments come to fruition, it’s likely the new owners will wipe every trace of old “No Parking” and “Danger [?] Hoist” signs away, as well as some relatively nice graffiti and stencils of cats. That’s progress, and will keep the building around for another hundred years or so. But still, glad I got these photos before that happens. (Click on a photo, and the slideshow should start.)
Once, every sign was a handpainted sign. For a while in the ’80s, I worked in an office next to one of the last of the old signpainters, a gentleman artist who could make a “Please turn off the lights” sign look lovely. Technology had already taken over by then, and with the advent of desktop publishing more and more signage became computer-based. I’m afraid that the grand old signs that used to grace the sides of city buildings, making life a little more colorful and interesting, are things of the past, slowly disappearing.
At least some of them are being documented, such as in my Flickr group Faded Signage. Take a look through if you love these old relics.