Friday, December 31, 2010


So for the final post of the year 2010, I present to you a first. In all the years I have been doing this project, I have looked for one thing each holiday season since I have done this: holiday themed neon. Well, finally, 2 days after Christmas I found a home which had as part of their decorating scheme a NEON CHRISTMAS CANDLE! That's right! The home, located on he far north side of Columbus, has a few non-neon Christmas lights up as well, and in one corner window, a small (about 12" high maybe?) blue and red candle neon decoration. Unfortunately, do to the position of the sign, as well as the position of the little old lady who sits on her couch with her curtains drawn wide open, it is hard to shoot, especially with my rather wimpy camera phone. But I was able to get within about ten feet of it and took a pic. Hopefully she keeps her Christmas decorations up through tonight because I will be back in the area tonight and tomorrow as well. The picture I did take was taken on the evening Monday, 12/27. Unless I get back to this house, or I see a surprise tonight while I am out and about, this is my last post of 2010. Hope everyone had a great Christmas and has a VERY happy New Year!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quaker Steak/Texas Road House

A few establishment interiors for you. Both have extensive neon signage on their exteriors, but they also have some cool neon going on inside. I have shots of Quaker Steak's exterior taken a couple years ago, and one of the several TRH locations done a while back as well. The Texas Roadhouse shots were taken from the E. Main Street location on Fri. 11/19 and the Quaker Steak pics were taken the afternoon of Fri. 12/3. We discovered they have a lunch buffet including all you can eat wings (with a couple main dishes, salad, desert, etc) for $8.99. Good deal.

Texas Roadhouse

Quaker Steak & Lube. Hot, hot, hot! And I love that football helmet! and of course the Route 66 sign.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving thanks for neon, and happy 3rd anniversary!

OK, it's been a while since I have posted some pics. But a few minor things have happened since I was last able to post some pics back at the beginning of fall..including a new addition! Hopefully my newborn son will be able to enjoy neon when he gets older as this artform is slowly and sadly disappearing. Anyway, to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of ths start of this project (amazing!) and Thanksgiving, I have a few minor tours to post. I was in the area of Hard Rd. and Smoky Row which includes a few generic strip centers (but one gem of a sign). Also I finally covered the Schuman's meat store on Harrisburg Pike. I was first told about this place a while back. Awesome meat in an old fashioned meat market and the walls are decked with old fashioned neon signage! The Schuman's pics were taken on Thurs. 11/11 and the Smoky Row pics were taken Sun 11/14. Happy Turkey day and stay posted for a new photo tour soon!

The Sawmill Florist pic is actually on Sawmill Rd. near Hard, a mile or so west of the mentioned intersection. Actually a retake of a shot I got during the say a few months back.

Mmm..Schuman's. They sell Falter's meats, which are made near German Village and only sold in a few places (Schuman's, the Brewer's Gate Kroger on Sycamore are two I know of). Some of the best bacon and bratwurst I have ever had.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

just a tide over

With my time for neon photo tours at a minimum these days I have to find stuff when I find it. A missing link and a plain old OPEN sign. Why the simple OPEN sign? Becuse of it's simplicity. It takes us back to a time before signage became standardized and OPEN signs didn't always have a blue oval surrounding the text. It's not an old sign, but has a "rustic" look. You can find this sign an an identical one at a Chinese restaurant on SR 161, near Karl Road. The Sawmill Florist sign is great, and in an area sadly deprived of neon between Dublin and Powell along Sawmill Road north of I-270. The OPEN picture was taken the late afternoon of Sun. 9/26 and the Sawmill Florist was taken the morning of Mon. 9/27.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sawmill Plaza (Post #101 of this project)

Yep, my last post on this photoblog a couple weeks ago was my 100th post since starting this blog nearly three years ago! That wasn't my 100th photo tour necessarily, but still 100 posts, is a milestone. I can't believe I have maintained this for nearly three years now, through all the moves and changes in my personal life. Hopefully with the arrival soon of our son, things will calm down and I can find some time for neoning. Of course spare time will be hard to come by, but I will take busy and calm over busy and chaotic any day. So this little shoot isn't much, just a few cute pieces I found tucked in a little corner off Sawmill Road at the Sawmill Plaza, between SR 161 and I-270. I can never seem to get to this area at night and I believe they shut the signs off (grrrr!) anyway, so it was mostly cloudy when I shot these in a tucked away area of the three dimensional strip center. All of these pics were taken at Barclay Tobacco and The Cleaner (drycleaner, obviously) the morning of Weds. 9/22.

The tobacco store and "Capone" sign remind me that Halloween will soon be approaching. Last year I was a twenties era gangster for a party I went to. Maybe again this year? And I can get my stogie for the occasion from Barclay's!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Wild southwest

Little pockets of development and of course commercial neon signage exist where one is not likely to find it. The far southwest side of the Columbus city limits and Franklin County is probably one of the least developed areas of the city. While the east and north sides are heavily developed like any major city, there are parts of the southwest side which have a very suburban, even almost rural character. I've always found this area pretty fascinating. One of the few areas where one side of the street is gritty, densely populated and very urban, while the other side has old barns and fields. And pretty far out west, an intersection has a shopping center with an authentic Mexican restaurant on one corner, billboard ads for cut rate car insurance, and a sizeable cornfield on the other corner. L:ooking west the sky is dark and full of stars. To the east is lights galore. It's as if a surveyor simply said "stop, stop right here, this is where civilization ends". Weird, and kinda cool at the same time. Anyway enjoy some of the neon signs of the far SW side. Also included is a sign I have long wanted to photograph, both day and night. Once a gem of neon dating to the 1960s, the property changed hands and the new owners (Walgreens...zzzz.) decided to keep the old sign and retrofit it for their purposes. Kudos to Walgreens for saving the neon, but it still doesn't make up for kicking Kahiki out some 10+ years ago (which also featured it's own ubercool neon sign). All pics were taken the night of Tuesday, 9/7 except the daytime Walgreen's pics, which were taken the morning of Thurs. 9/8.

Flyers Pizza. Very good pizza. I usually get it from the one further north in Hilliard next to Sloopys (check out my tour of the area from late November of last year..little did I know that a few months after taking that set I would frequent that area!). The flyer guy does something cool, which I will later show. The "free" sign is a computer store adjacent to Flyer's.

Galloway Square, at the corner of Hall and Galloway. Diagonally across the street from this strip center is a cornfield!!

Now what we've all been waiting for: The former Frisch's Big Boy sign. The restaurant closed a few years back, and Walgreen's purchased and redeveloped the property. I guess they wanted to do away with the vintage neon sign but after consideration from the community and local government, they decided it could fit into their scheme. And honestly, they did a great job of keeping and refurbishing the sign.
A few night shots of the sign. The upper part, with the cursive "Walgreens" script is in neon, while an LED ascpect is on the bottom half advertising specials and whatnot.

A couple shots of the shot in daylight.

Here is a link to what the sign looked like in it's Frisch's days. Frisch's

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Interesting (no, sadly, not a tour, but something cool to tide us over..)

OK, with the car issues I seem to find every late summer, I have not gotten to do much neoning in the last several weeks. But fall is approaching and of course, more neon. Look for a new post with a tour coming in the next week or two. For now, I thought I would share this video I found on youtube, showing how these great works of art are constructed.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

NW side missing links, COSI stragler, DDs, and movie time!

With everything that has been going on since the start of this year, this has admittedly been a disappointing year for this blog and photo taking in general. A lot has happened personally for me and my family this calendat year so neon signs have been on the backburner. So this month of July has been surprsingly productive since summer in general is a "slow" time for me with the later sunset times and longer days. Happy to see I have been into it quite a bit this month despite what has been going on as of late.

So I have a few mini tours and shoots to share. The first set included in this post is a set of "missing links", either new, forgotten, or overlooked. I covered the Dublin Road and Arlington/Grandview areas in general a few times over the last couple years. But I decided to take the long way/scenic route from a ball game downtown up to Linworth this week. I caught some surprises of neon along the usually subdued Dublin Road.

I also included a couple pics snapped when I took my future stepdaughter to COSI a couple Saturdays ago. The building was a former high school of course and has a lot of nooks and cranies as many older buildings do. Good find in one of those nooks! Also, I took my daughter to see the movie Marmaduke at the "dollar theater" and of course, theaters that were built in the 70s and 80s and became second run theaters in the last 10-20 years are fill of neon! Good find there! And then my brother and a friend decided to go to Hooters to check out the...wings and beer, and a cool neon sign in their newest Columbus area location in Hilliard. And I got a free beer there! Free beer is always noteworthy.

The first set, the NW side pics were taken the evening of Sun. 7/25. The COSI pics were taken on Sat. 7/17. The theater and the Hooters pics were taken on Wed. 7/28.

The Rocco's sign is my fav! I love cursive neon. The neon McDonald's is relatively rare since most modern McD's locations do not feature neon displays. Nice. The men's barbershop is for MEN (and boys). Ladies, don't even try it!

This is a wall disaplay at COSI covering the history of Cracker Jack, which goes back over 100 years. Neon signs celebrate their 100th birthday in the next couple years!

Movie time! Ana and I watched Marmaduke at the "dollar theater" which actually set us back $1.50 per ticket. In the movie there is a scene taking place in a junk yard which also includes supposedly 'junked' neon signs. The travesty of a neon sign relegated to a junk yard. Though of course, neon grave yards would be a cool place to visit, especially if I had funds to restore them.

This cool Corona sign hangs on the wall of the Hooters on Rome Hilliard Road, their newest location (been there about 2-3 years or so). The Bengals beer sign is cool, though the neon functions as a backlight.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A couple Dublin Road missing links

Just a couple pics I had missed or have been new additions since my last visit to the area. Well, the Fur Vault has been there for years but either way, they caught my eye while stopping off 670 to get gas on the way home from work. Both pics taken the night of Sat. 7/3.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


COSI, the Center of Science and Industry, is Columbus's science museum. The original location was on E. Broad Street across from the first Wendy's and near the old Borden headquarters and was there for over 30 years. In 1999 the museum moved to it's current location on W. Broad Street across from the Veterans Memorial Hall, right on the west bank of the Scioto River, in the former Central High School. Not the greatest science museum in the world I am sure, but definitely good for a few hours of fun for the kids. Also located within the museum are the studios for WOSU 820 AM, one of the local public radio stations. I took my daughter here for her first time this month and she loved it! My fiance got us season passes and I am sure they will be well used for the next 11 months. Many of the exhibits and installations have some form of neon I was happy to find. I may have missed some, but I believe I captured most if not all of the neon in the museum. All pics were taken the afternoon of Tues, 6/15.

The first couple pics and the last (all the neon punctuation is ubercool to me!)are in the "Gadgets" wing, which focuses on industrial technology. The "drugs", "Bailwicks" and "diner" signs are in the "Progress" wing, near Gadgets, which is a walk through replica of a small town center in two sections. One enters into the "town" as it would appear in 1898 with storefronts, street furniture and the like. Very cool. At the end of the street you turn into a small hallway and then we are in the supposedly same "town", only now we fast forward to the year 1962 with period replica shops and street scenery. Very cool and cool hands on stuff for kids to do (my daughter loves working the counter at the 50s-60s era diner!). And of course, 1962 was in the middle of the golden age for neon signage! Beautiful signs, even if not original. Progress is probably our favorite section. What would be cool is to expand this to include a small section of "today" and one for maybe some period in the future. Just my idea anyway.

The WOSU studios are located underneath this neon sign. And the neon backlit map is in the weather section.