email: roadarch@outlook.com

Virginia Signs (page 3)

(hit "refresh" to get the most recent version of this page; click on photos for larger images)

Mitchem's Shoe Repair
Richmond, VA
Joy Garden
Richmond, VA
The Triple
Richmond, VA
King's Fish [gone]
Richmond, VA
The Mitchem's Shoe Repair sign had neon originally. This photo is from 2004. Around 2011, Mitchem's moved to a new location. The sign was repainted and is now installed flat against the building. [map]

Joy Garden opened in 1958 and this sign is from then. It is the oldest Chinese restaurant in Richmond. This photo is from 2009. In 2014, the neon was removed and the sign was repainted. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Triple sign has been here since at least the 1970s. This photo is from 2009. The Triple closed in 2011. The building was still vacant and the sign was still there as of 2016. I'm told that the owner of the building still turns the sign on at night. For more, see this website. [map]

This photo of the King's Fish sign is from 2007. By 2008, the sign was gone. For more, see this website.

Richmond
Camera Shop
Richmond, VA
Westland
Shopping Center
Richmond, VA
Natural Gas Company of Virginia
Richmond, VA
The Richmond Camera Shop was founded in 1938 and was the first camera shop in town. This sign, now missing its neon, may have been built then. This photo is from 2010. In 2013, this sign was refurbished, without neon, and now reads Richmond Camera Lofts. For more, see this website. [map]

The Westland Shopping Center sign is probably from the 1950s. [map]

The Natural Gas Company of Virginia signs are probably from the 1950s. [map]

Bill's Barbecue [gone]
Richmond, VA
Satellite Restaurant
Richmond, VA
Buford
Shopping Center
Richmond, VA
FFV Cookies & Crackers
Richmond, VA
Bill's Barbecue opened in 1930 and was famous for its barbecue pork sandwiches, limeade and other regional offerings. There were several locations in Richmond. This one had a drive-through window and drive-in canopies. The chain closed all of its locations in 2012. In 2014, this location was demolished. The sign is gone now.

The Satellite Restaurant opened in 1962. This photo is from 2010. Around 2012, the sign was repainted. For more, see this website. [scan thanks Robby Delius] [map]

The Buford Shopping Center sign appears to be from the 1950s. There were probably neon letters originally. Does anyone know when this sign was built or if there was ever a name change? For more, see this website. [map]

FFV Cookies & Crackers were once baked here by Interbake Foods with the Famous Foods of Virginia label. Interbake was originally founded in 1899 as the Southern Biscuit Company and this building is from then. The company closed this factory in 2006 and it has been vacant since then. In 2013, the building was converted into the Cookie Factory Lofts. The sign is still there and has been relit. For more, see this website. [map]

Regal Boot
Richmond, VA
Mill End Shop
Richmond, VA
A&N Stores
Richmond, VA
These three signs are on display at the Valentine Richmond History Center. [map]

The Regal Boot sign is made of cast aluminum. It was originally installed at the Regal Shoe Co. on Broad St. The sign was installed in the parking lot when this photo was taken in 2010. By 2011, it was gone. I assume it has been moved indoors. The American Sign Museum acquired an identical sign in 2009. There was another one like this in Boston, MA (1 and 2).

The Mill End Shop sign was built in the late 1950s. The business closed in 1996 and donated this sign to the museum. It was restored in 2008. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

This A&N Stores sign is from 1930. It was previously installed at the company's Culpeper, VA location which closed in 2008. A&N started out selling dry goods and went on to become a chain of sporting goods stores. There was another sign like this one in Richmond with the neon removed and the A&N text painted over.

C.F. Sauer Company Extracts
Richmond, VA
The C.F. Sauer Company began production in Richmond in 1887. By 1927, the company had become the largest producer of extracts and spices in the U.S. Sauer continues to operates at this downtown factory. This rooftop sign was installed in the early 1900s and is still in operation. It features a baker stirring in extract with "vanilla" spelled out in red continuous script. The animated, incandescent sign was saved in 1978 when the building it was installed on top of was demolished. It was moved to an adjacent building. The sign was restored around 2006. These photos are from 2009. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, and 4. [map]

Coca-Cola signs
Richmond, VA
2004: 2007:
These huge Coca-Cola signs are composed of incandescent bulbs. In the storefront below is now Harvey's Progressive Barber Shop. There was supposedly a paper goods store here originally. In 2007, these signs were repainted. By 2016, the panels had faded considerably again. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

More Richmond:
Berry-Burk & Co. [map]
Fat Boy Drive-in [gone]
Hank's Pit Cooked Bar-B-Q [gone]
former Morton's Jewelers [map]
Stratford Motel [map]

H&C Coffee and Dr Pepper signs
Roanoke, VA
The H&C Coffee and Dr Pepper signs enrich Roanoke's downtown skyline. The H&C Coffee Company has been based in Roanoke since 1927. The H&C sign was erected in 1946 at this location. From 2005-2006, the H&C Coffee sign and Dr Pepper signs were refurbished and reinstalled (bottom row of photos, thanks Randy Hogan). Both signs were moved from their original locations (top photo) so that they would still be visible from the highway when the new art museum is completed.

The Dr Pepper sign is believed to have been built in the mid-1940s. It is believed that more Dr Pepper is sold in the Roanoke Valley than any other area east of the Mississippi River. Roanoke broke records for its consumption of Dr Pepper in the late 1950s was was known as the Dr Pepper Capital of the World. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Towers Shopping
Center
Roanoke, VA
Sunset-Inn Motel [gone]
Roanoke, VA
Melody Haven
Roanoke, VA
Wheeler's Laundry & Cleaners
Roanoke, VA
The Towers Shopping Center sign is from around 1961. Originally, there were two of these signs. It mimics the radio towers around which the shopping center was built. [map]

The Sunset-Inn Motel was originally the Shangri-la Motel. This photo is from 2003. This sign has been removed and replaced with a plastic box sign for the Airport Inn. For more, see this website.

Melody Haven sells musical instruments and supplies. Its bass fiddle sign was designed by the store owner in the 1950s. When the store moved around the corner in 1977, they brought the sign with them. [map]

Wheeler's Laundry & Cleaners has been around since the 1940s. The round part on the freestanding sign held a clock originally. [map]

Mill Mountain Star
Roanoke, VA
The Mill Mountain Star is the world's largest man-made illuminated star measuring 100 feet tall and 88 feet wide. It was erected in 1949 on a mountain overlooking Roanoke (aka the Star City of the South). Its 2,000 feet of neon tubing hums loudly enough that the sign gets turned off at midnight so that neighbors can sleep. The star is normally lit white but has a tradition of red lighting for city traffic fatalities and national tragedies (e.g., JFK's assassination, the Challenger space shuttle explosion). For 4th of July holidays and since September 11th, the star has been lit red, white and blue. The sign was renovated in 2006 by the same company that worked on the H&C Coffee and Dr. Pepper signs. For more, see this website. [map]

Sunshine One Hour Cleaners
Roanoke, VA
Commodore Inn
Roanoke, VA
The Sunshine One Hour Cleaners sign is probably from the 1950s. For more, see this website. [map]

The Commodore Inn restaurant and bar opened in the early 1940s. These signs were probably built then or shortly thereafter. The Commodore Inn closed in the late 1990s. These photos are from 2007. The text sign was painted over and then disappeared around 2012. The rooftop ship sign was removed in 2012. In 2014, it was refurbished for about $2,500. The sign is now installed inside the Roanoke City Market Building. For more, see this website.

More Roanoke:
Hitching Post Motel [vintage; gone]

VA (page 1) VA (page 2) VA (page 4)

Main Signs Page