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Florida Signs (page 3)

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City of Cars [gone]
Orlando, FL
Western Way Shopping Center
Orlando, FL
The City of Cars is long gone and these signs were removed in 2008. I don't know if either of them was saved. There were originally two of these revolving satellite signs installed here. Their design may have been inspired by Roto-Sphere signs.

Western Way Shopping Center opened in 1955 with this sign is from then. The cowboy once had an animated lariat. For more, see this website. [map]

McNamara Pontiac [gone]
Orlando, FL
McNamara Pontiac opened in downtown Orlando in 1961. In 1965, the dealership moved to Colonial Drive. I'm not sure if they brought these signs with them or if they were built at that time. One source says that the main sign is from the early 1950s which might mean it was adapted for McNamara from a previous dealership. In the 1980s, the Isuzu piece was "added", which might mean that the previous text was changed. The dealership closed in 2006 and the showroom remains vacant. The signs were removed in 2013. They are now in storage at the Morse Museum in Winter Park, FL. For more, see this website. [second photo thanks Tom Fawls]

Parliament House Resort
Orlando, FL
Stewart Jewelry
Orlando, FL
Hot Dog Heaven
Orlando, FL
Maryland
Fried Chicken
Orlando, FL
Arrow Motel
Orlando, FL
The Parliament House Resort was originally the Parliament House Motor Inn. The motel has been converted into a gay resort. The sign is a replica of the 1960 original which destroyed by Hurricane Charley in 2004. [map]

Stewart Jewelry opened in 1946. This photo is from 2009. Later that year, the sign was painted black. [map]

Hot Dog Heaven opened in 1987. [map]

Maryland Fried Chicken has three locations in the Orlando area and there are others in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and possibly other states. For some other examples, see these locations in Bristol, VA, Albany & Augusta, GA, Haines City, FL, Winter Garden, FL, Plant City, FL, Florence, SC, and Westminster, SC. [map]

The Arrow Motel sign apparently had some additional letters at the top. I don't know if it is still lit at night. [map]

Plaza Theatre
Orlando, FL
La Belle Furs
Orlando, FL
Beefy King
Orlando, FL
Merita Bread [gone]
Orlando, FL
The Plaza Theatre opened as a movie theatre in 1963. In 1996, it was converted into a live performance space. Despite a fair amount of alterations, this rooftop element remains. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

La Belle Furs was established in 1919. The business moved here in 1958. [map]

This Beefy King sign was built in 1967 and the restaurant opened the following year. This was Beefy King’s original location. Featuring roast beef sandwiches, it was established as a competitor to Arby's which was founded just three years earlier. By the early 1970s, about a dozen Beefy Kings were built. Half of them were in the Orlando area while others popped up in the Carolinas and the Bahamas. All of the locations had these signs. The Orlando location is the only one left and none of the other signs are known to exist. The panels were damaged by hurricanes in 2004. The photo above is from 2009.

In 2014, the owners decided to replicate the original panels as closely as possible even though it cost nearly twice as much as creating a simple box sign. The restoration cost about $25,000. The top panels which are about six feet tall were faithfully replicated with the bull in embossed relief. The text was also originally embossed but it was reproduced with flat panels because of the cost. When built, the top panels had a neon border. This detail was omitted to keep costs down. The original sign had a crown on top which was knocked off in the 2004 hurricanes and subsequently lost. The sign shop could not duplicate that feature without the original panels. While it was thought that the Morse Museum would want the original sign, it was deemed not old enough. For now, the original panels are in the custody of the founding family which still operates the restaurant. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. [map]

The Merita Bread sign originally had a round clock with hands rather than this digital display. It also read "Bread & Cake". This sign was erected in the early 1960s next to I-4 which had just been built. With the demise of Hostess Foods in 2012, this sign remained but was no longer lit. In 2014, the sign was moved to the Morse Museum of American Art.

Welcome Sign
Pensacola, FL
Jolly Green Giant
Pensacola, FL
Westgate Motel & Campgrounds
Perry, FL
This Welcome Sign was originally built in the late 1950s and located downtown. It was then moved here to the foot of the Bob Sikes Bridge. The wind has always been hard on the sign with broken neon tubes costing about $4,000 per year. Around 2000, the sign was completely restored with fiber optic tubing replacing the fragile neon. In late 2004, Hurricane Ivan did considerable damage (photo at left). The sign has since been restored (photo at right from 2010). For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Jolly Green Giant sign is installed at Bailey's Farmers Market. The business was originally known as Bailey's Homestead when it opened in 1938. The market moved here in 2004. This 25 foot tall sign is a replica of the one that was at the original location. That sign was 32 feet tall and could not be moved here due to local sign ordinances. [map]

The Westgate Motel & Campgrounds sign was probably built in the 1950s. [map]

More Pensacola Signs:
Joe Patti's Seafood
Oscar's Restaurant

Olde Dixie
Fried Chicken [gone]
Pine Castle, FL
Brown's Floral Shop [gone]
Plant City, FL
The Olde Dixie Fried Chicken sign was installed in 1962. The road that it is located on was known as the Old Dixie Highway. As far as I know, this restaurant was not part of a chain. The restaurant closed in 2016 and the sign was removed. Part of it was saved by the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, OH. For more, see this website.

Brown's Floral Shop has been around since 1928. These photos are from 2009. By 2012, Brown's had moved to a new location. The pole sign was gone and the sign on the building was missing the neon.

George's Tavern
Sanford, FL
Hob Nob Drive-in
Sarasota, FL
Magic Beach Motel
St. Augustine, FL
Arnold's Cocktail
Lounge [gone]
St. Augustine, FL
The George's Tavern sign was built in 1958. The sign was repainted in 2008. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. [map]

The Hob Nob Drive in opened in 1957. There were originally roller-skating car hops. [map]

The Magic Beach Motel was built in 1951 as the Vilano Beach Motel. This sign was built in 1999 when the TV series "Safe Harbor" was filmed here. The sign stayed and the motel was renamed. It is lit at night. This photo is from 2009. After a fire, the motel and sign were restored in 2011. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Arnold's Cocktail Lounge had two 1950s-looking signs. This photo is from 2009. This sign was removed around 2014. The other sign is still there. This establishment was originally known as Roscoe's Restaurant. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

More Sarasota Signs:
Allamanda Motel

Banyan Tree Motel
St. Petersburg, FL
Palm Aire Motel
St. Petersburg, FL
Venice Motel
St. Petersburg, FL
Sandman Motel
St. Petersburg, FL
The Banyan Tree Motel opened in 1958. For more, see this website. [map]

The Palm Aire Motel sign was installed in 1954. For more, see this website. [map]

The Venice Motel sign was installed in 1958. For more, see this website. [map]

The Sandman Motel was built in 1957 and this sign appears to be from then. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Landmark Motel
St. Petersburg, FL
West Central
Shopping Center
St. Petersburg, FL
World Liquors
St. Petersburg, FL
China City
Restaurant [gone]
St. Petersburg, FL
Sunken Gardens
St. Petersburg, FL
The Landmark Motel sign was installed in 1958. For more, see this website. [map]

The West Central Shopping Center sign was installed in 1959. For more, see this website. [map]

The 22 foot tall World Liquors sign was built in 1961. The globe came from a furniture store sign which was built in the 1950s. The globe stopped revolving in the 1970s. It was also internally lit originally. In 2015, a larger building for retail and apartments will be built on the site. The liquor store will remain the anchor tenant. However, the fate of this sign is not clear. Sign ordinances forbid its reinstallation. A smaller replica sign may be installed on the building. In 2017, the sign was repainted. It seems that the sign is safe for now. For more, see this website. [map]

The China City Restaurant sign was installed in 1952 for Chick's Drive-in. It was altered for China City around 1960. The sign was animated. The neon text and arrow flashed at night. The restaurant closed and the sign was removed in 2016. The owners kept the sign. For more, see this website.

The Sunken Gardens opened in 1935. This sign was installed in 1960. It is 30 feet tall and 25 feet wide. It has changed quite a bit since 2000. The botanical garden is actually 15 feet below street level. It is now managed by the city. For more, see this website. [map]

Kentucky Motel
St. Petersburg, FL
El Cap Restaurant
St. Petersburg, FL
Ace Hardware
St. Petersburg, FL
The Kentucky Motel was originally the Kentucky Derby Motel. It has been here since at least the early 1950s. I'm not sure when the name changed or when this sign was created but it is a different shape from the original. The oval frame held a plastic AAA-approved sign until recently. This photo is from 2009. Between 2011 and 2015, the sign had been painted and the eagle detail was gone. For more, see this website. [map]

The El Cap Restaurant may have opened in 1948. This sign was installed in 1949. The sign was replaced with this replica in 2005. The photo above is from 2009. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

This Ace Hardware sign originally advertised for a Kwik Chek grocery store. The round part must have held the Kwik Chek logo and it most likely revolved. I believe this sign was installed in 1963. For more, see this website. [map]

More St. Petersburg Signs:
Bambi Motel [gone]
Rayco: 1, 2
YMCA

St. Pete Beach Signs:
Shadrack's

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