Ghost sign hunting

Searching through "old Industrial" Cleveland for connectors to the past

What better day than than the last of the year, for Josh & I to drive around looking for "ghost signs". I'd already photographed over 40 since moving here, so I had a good idea where to start.

A ghost sign is an old hand-painted advertising sign that has been preserved on a building for an extended period of time. The sign may be kept for its nostalgic appeal, or simply indifference by the owner.

β€” Wikipedia

Hopping off the freeway at East 55th, I used that as our main path. We had the windows down, being about 50℉, keeping our eyes peeled as we criss-crossed the large empty streets; St, Clair, Superior, and Euclid.

ghost sign for tuxedo rental Stopping at each one. Snapping pictures with our phones and my original Lomo LCA, discovering quite a few new ones, meandering through the side-streets.

Businesses and service long gone; Tuxedo rental, ink ribbon & carbon paper, furniture stores, and shipping firms to name but few.

ghost sign for heating company All of these painted on the side of buildings, some partially obscured by new development, most in disrepair or condemned. It is sad to see these neighborhoods suffering as we pass through.

Following E55th all the way to Slavic Village, then along the banks of the Cuyahoga River to The Flats and Downtown.

In total I captured over 30. I like to add some filters to these. I've found black & white, with some sharpness added, brings out the sign from the brickwork. Slapping on a vignette and tilt-shift adds to that long-forgotten mood.