Friday, March 28, 2014

Faygo ghost sign tagged into oblivion

In late 2011 or early 2012, this building abutting a former grocery (now liquor) store in Detroit . . .  

Google Street View  July, 2009: 

Google Street Views July, 2011:

 . . . .  burned to the ground and revealed several vintage signs, dating back to at least the mid-1950s if not the late 1940s or before, including a classic Faygo Orange (far left), and KowalsKi sausage sign (middle, mostly hidden):

The signs after they first appeared in 2012 

To my surprise and delight this Faygo sign looked almost exactly like it did when the adjoining building was constructed:
 Vintage ghost sign as it appeared in early 2012.

According to the Faygo web site, this logo originated in the 1930s and was used into the 1950s. My search for anything with this logo style on it had, until that day, been futile.

I have returned several times since then in hopes that the debris and remnants of the adjoining wall might have been cleared so I could see and photograph the other vintage signs on the wall. On each of those visits I was disappointed - but not surprised - that the rubble remained. I was, however, astounded and extremely relieved to find that the Faygo sign remained untouched. Perhaps, I thought, local vandals and taggers might have spared this priceless classic out of respect for the art and history it represents.

Fast Forward 2 years.

In March 2014 I was nearby again so I drove by, still hopeful that the Faygo sign remained unscathed and the others, by some miracle, might be revealed, too. 

Silly me !

Nothing is sacred, respected, spared or preserved in this town. It just took longer than usual for vandals to find it and destroy it:



I have plenty more to say about  #%M*^@&F(#*B%@S&%  like this, but none of it is fit to print. I'm sure you can fill in the blanks . . .

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bond & Bailey Machining, Detroit

The Bond & Bailey building on W. Fort St. in Detroit is one of my favorite old buildings. I like it because of its unique character, its slight lean, its "ghost" sign on the east wall, and most of all because it is at least 125-130 years old and still being used (I think). I have been unable to learn anything about its history except that Bond & Bailey has been there "since 1948," according to the sign out front.

Bond & Bailey Machining and its neighbor the Detroit Trucking Co. 
building, aka, Don Miller "Land Storage" - May, 2012

 Former Detroit Trucking Co. building - May, 2012

 This neighboring building was constructed (late 1930s - 1940s?) by the Detroit Trucking Co. and was later occupied by Bond & Bailey Machining, and then Don Miller Land Storage. It was still standing in 2012 after being vacant and suffering at least two fires. As you can see it was a mere shell awaiting its dismal fate which was most probably demolition. The only question was, how and when.

The answer came when it burned again (likely due to a scrapper's torch) the afternoon of June 29, 2012, just 40 days after the photos above were taken. After a 2-hour battle the fire was extinguished without injury. The building has since been demolished. 

The late 1800s Bond &Bailey building still stands. These photos show how it looked in 2012:

Bond & Bailey Machining (2012)

A sign on the east wall by the entrance boasting their services (2012)

It was - and still is - comforting in some way to see the little building still there each time I pass by. At the same time, though, I always wonder how much longer it will be there. While this old stalwart still stands it has been, like so many buildings in Detroit, senselessly defaced by tagger vandals. I was furious when I saw it on a drive down Fort Street in July of 2013. Taggers have painted the entire side of the east wall, completely obliterating the terrific old sign:

July, 2013

For what useful purpose was an historic building defaced, and a vintage sign destroyed?

What or who is TAF-TMK, and why should anyone care???

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