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Florida Signs (page 5)

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Suwannee Gables Motel
Old Town, FL
City of Cars [gone]
Orlando, FL
The Suwannee Gables Motel sign is probably from the 1950s. The sign was repainted around 2020 and the neon was replaced with LED rope. The bulbs around the lower panel were long gone. By 2021, the letters were replaced with backlit plastic versions. For more, see this website. [map]

The City of Cars was long gone when these photos were taken in 2005. These signs were removed in 2008. 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
Orlando, FL
2009: 2021:
Western Way Shopping Center opened in 1955 and 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. [second photo thanks Tom Fawls]

Parliament House Resort [gone]
Orlando, FL
Stewart Jewelry [gone]
Orlando, FL
Hot Dog Heaven
Orlando, FL
The Parliament House Resort was originally the Parliament House Motor Inn. The motel was converted into a gay resort in the mid-1970s. The sign was a replica of the 1962 original which destroyed by Hurricane Charley in 2004. In 2020, the resort closed and was demolished by 2021. The sign was supposedly saved by the Orange County Regional History Center and put in storage.

Stewart Jewelry opened in 1946. This photo is from 2009. Later that year, the sign was painted black. In 2020, it was announced that the store was closing. The owner would like to see the sign go to a museum. By 2021, the sign was gone.

Hot Dog Heaven opened in 1987. The sign's fork pole goes all the way to the ground. [map]

Arrow Motel
Orlando, FL
2009: 2021:
The Arrow Motel was originally known as the "Circle Arrow Motel" in 1958. This sign is probably from then. I don't know when the "Circle" letters were removed from the sign. In 2018, the neon was removed and backlit plastic letters were added. For more, see this website. [map]

La Belle Furs
Orlando, FL
La Belle Furs was established in 1919. The business moved here in 1958. The sign was restored in 2019. [map]

Carrier
Orlando, FL
The Carrier sign previously advertised for Weather-Masters Engineering Co. I believe it was installed in the 1950s. In 2012, the Redlight Redlight beer parlor moved into the building. The bottom sign which read "Air Conditioning - Weathermasters Co." was moved inside. A similar sign for the bar was built and installed in its place, below the Carrier sign. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Beefy King
Orlando, FL
2009: 2021:
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 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.

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. I believe the crown sign on the building is also original. For more, see this website. [map]

More Orlando Signs:
Merita Bread [gone]

Kiddie Kampus
Palatka, FL
Kiddie Kampus was a children's clothing store which opened in 1956. The sign is probably from then. The building is currently vacant. The sign belongs to the Palatka Historical Society. If the new tenant does not want to keep the sign, the Society will remove it. [map]

More Palatka Signs:
former Nelson's Jewelers [gone]

Palm Beach Signs:
Budget Lodge [vintage; gone]

Marie Motel
Panama City, FL
Sombrero Mexican
Restaurant [gone]
Panama City, FL
The Marie Motel opened in 1938. This sign was there by the 1950s and originally had neon. There are actually two identical signs on the building: one on the west entrance and one on the east. For more, see this website. [map]

The Sombrero Mexican Restaurant opened around 1956. The sign was originally a pole sign that was later moved to the roof. Since Hurricane Michael in 2018, the sign has been leaning over. It was removed and is now in a private collection.

More Panama City Signs:
Bottle Stopper Lounge [gone]
Quality Cars [gone]

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