Friday, October 16, 2009

Nelson Warehouse

Harrison and Yale, South Lake Union

Clearly a double sign, but I'm unable to make out what's beneath "Nelson". Let me know what you think.

Another building being restored, unfortunately I don't know anything about this one yet. Will update when I learn more.

Coca Cola / Senart's Oyster House

8th and G SE, Washington D.C.

Some lovely green color left in these:

Drink Coca Cola It's Refreshing 5c

Senart's Oyster House

Unfortunately I wasn't able to capture many ghost signs while visiting the east coast; either they were a blur as I whizzed past on the train or it was too dark and I was too far away to capture them. I did manage to get this fantastic Coca Cola / Senart's ad since it was street level and very easily accessible. This is my second Coca Cola sign, neither of which are in Seattle. I believe that's "2 and 0" in baseball speak.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kelly Goodwin Hardwood

Harrison and Terry, South Lake Union

Looks like my favorite sketch artist, The Seattle Sketcher got to this before I did and caught "Oak and Maple" just below. Also, on the back side is "Butcher's Block Warehouse". This is the Terry Ave. Building (1915) which is being restored in LEED fashion.

Mohawk Apts.

12th and Jefferson, Capitol Hill

There's a lot going on here: "Mohawk Apts." is clear, then under that "For Vacant Lots in this Vicinity" and "Union Trust Co." Over the top of it all appears to once have been "KING SIZE COKE" though it is not clear whether this was Coke as in Coca-Cola, or Coke as in fuel or something else entirely. It seems to imply the cola, but I've never seen a Coke ad that wasn't in the stylized script. This is definitely a head scratcher. Also, apologies for the shadows but there isn't a better time of day to see the lettering this clearly. If you see more going on here, please comment!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The McKay block- Ad unknown

Mercer and Westlake, South Lake Union

I have absolutely no idea what this was an advertisement for, but I am very excited to have seen it and get the photo. The building that was torn down (foreground rubble) was the Pacific McKay building which is rumored to be being moved North a bit and fully rebuilt as it was on this corner. Some City of Seattle online documents indicate the remaining building, Ford McKay, will stay put and that the connecting hallways will be sealed. I'm very curious to see what becomes of this ghostie. provides an some interesting background on these buildings. What I find fascinating is that the Ford McKay building (which hosts the ghost sign) is a mere three years older than the Pacific building. The paint on the ad must have still been wet when the new building went up!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beebe and Runyon

9th and Lenora, Downtown (Denny Triangle)

Omaha, Kansas City, Denver, Seattle

According to the Department of Neighborhoods, this warehouse was occupied by Beebe and Runyon from around 1936 to 1955.

Friday, September 11, 2009

2nd and Battery, Belltown

I believe this is now a nightclub which still uses the name Rendezvous.

J.T. Hardeman Hat Co.

Dexter and Republican, South Lake Union

Fun stuff!:
J.T. Hardeman Hat Co. was a uniform vendor for the National Park Service in the 1930's.

A cool Seattle P.I./Mohai photo

...and another

No. 108 1/2

1st Ave S. and Yesler, Pioneer Square

There are a whole lot of these tile signs in Pioneer Square, and I love them! For more information on the Lippy Building, please visit the Department of Neighborhoods website.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Charlesgate Apartments

4th between Blanchard and Bell, Belltown

More interesting photos and information on the Charlesgate Apartments can be found on the Department of Neighborhoods website.

Franklin Apts.

4th and Bell, Belltown

More interesting photos and information can be found at the Department of Neighborhoods website.

Fleming Apartments

4th and Bell, Belltown

more interesting photos and information on the Fleming Apartments available from the Department of Neighborhoods website.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

J&M Cafe and Cardroom

1st and Washington, Pioneer Square

I almost missed this entirely. This sign is painted at the J&M Cafe and Cardroom, and the only legible word is "HOTEL" which it was during the gold rush days. Some depressing news about the J&M can be read about here:

Boss of the Road

Old Sacramento, CA

Visited my hometown last week and came across this lovely specimen. Surprisingly, not much else in the way of ghosties in Old Sacramento- this was the only one I could find.

Boss of the Road
Union Made Overalls
The Watchdog of Quality

and above that:
Morelos Hotel
....week and up

and under all of it, another illegible sign

Friday, July 10, 2009


1st and Washington, Pioneer Square

This building has a long and varied history which can be read about here:

The "Paul Bunyon Outerwear" and "Driftwood Sportswear" signs are circa 1950.

Monday, July 6, 2009


3rd between Blanchard and Bell, Belltown/Downtown

The Best in Rainwear

Monday, June 22, 2009

Martin Furniture

8th and Stewart, Downtown

I love the juxtaposition of old and new here. These were taken from under the awning at the Greyhound bus station.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Auto Service Repair and Supply

12th and Madison, Capitol Hill

"...C.W JOE... Auto Service Repair and Supplies phone ast 36"

I've done a cursory look for telephone exchanges in Seattle and have found no records so I'm not yet sure if "ast" was in fact the exchange, or if this meant something altogether different. Let me know what you think!

This building is currently home to Stumptown Coffee and Cafe Presse.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sicks' Brewing- Bay View Brewery

Airport Way

I've driven past this building hundreds of times and just last week spotted for the first time, the Sicks' painted sign. I went back to capture the sign and then since it was such a nice day, I followed Airport Way down to Georgetown. I'd only been to Georgetown a few times and didn't realize that the large brick compound used to be the Rainier brewery. I was simply stunned. Not only by the coincidence of discovering it on the same day I was out taking pictures of the Sicks sign, but that it was still in such great shape with much of the buildings' relief in tact.

The Sicks brewery is now being leased to Tully's and some small businesses. The old Georgetown brewery is currently housing some small artsy businesses and from what I can tell, some beer distributors. I'm absolutely fascinated with it, and will likely spend a lot of time polishing and updating this post to include additional information as I learn more. In the meantime, the Rainier Brewing Company wiki page has a decent history for those of you who are interested in learning more:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hartford Glass

Pike and Broadway, Capitol Hill

This specimen is in excellent shape with lots of color remaining.

"Hartford Glass Co.
Automobile Glass and Mirrors"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Standard Warehouse

First St. near Railroad Way, SODO

I can't quite make this out, but looks like it may have once said "Standard Warehouse Co. Inc."? Tell me what you think.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Coca-Cola: Vancouver

This isn't technically a ghost sign of the last outpost, but rather a cool find while on a quick weekender in Vancouver. Vancouver seems to have retained very little in the way of ghostie remnants of the late 19th-early 20th centuries, but it did provide my very first Coca-Cola ghost sign!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Broadway and Jefferson, First Hill

This ad is painted on the North side of the Fenimore Hotel building, opposite the Keene Cigar ad. This is a double ad, however, the dominant is for Holsum.

"Ask your grocer for Holsum. The Bread of Quality."
then at the bottom: "...clean, sold clean."

Of course, the best part of this ad are the silhoutettes of the children eating the bread.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tom Keene Cigar

Broadway and Jefferson, First Hill

This ad shares space with the still existing Hotel Fenimore, which offers "Permanent and Transient Rooms"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hemenway & Moser Co.

4th and Terrace, Downtown

A little digging revealed that this cigar wholesaler "...ay & Moser Co." was Hemenway & Moser Company, based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. I'm surmising the storefront level of the Crouley Building / Reynold's Hotel was their Northwest location. For those of you interested in the building itself, please visit the Crouley Building's Historical Site page, here.

Click on the photo for higher resolution and to see other mysterious ghosties that share this brick wall.

I do miss the Abercrombie ads. They were much better eye candy than this Obama logo ripoff that Pepsi has adopted.

For an idea of what the Seattle store may have looked like in it's heyday, you can check out photos the Salt Lake Hemenway & Moser stores here.