In the Delmar Loop, entrepreneur Joe Edwards has been responsible for creating some of the most interesting signage on a streetscape anywhere. With his wonderful restoration of the two story sign on the front of the Tivoli Theater, his electronic billboard on Blueberry Hill, his huge rotating moon on top of his Moonrise Hotel, his neon peacock sign on the facade of his Peacock Diner and a personal favorite, the neon pinup on the Pinup Bowl, he has created a streetscape of visual delights. No wonder the Delmar Loop was designated as one of the 10 Great Streets in America by the American Planning Association.
In Maplewood we are a bit impoverished in the signage department. We have the vintage, landmarked, neon Paramount Jewelers sign. In the Greenwood historic district (located at Greenwood and Sutton) we have a ghost Hardware sign on the side of the former Milligan’s Million Article store. They are very nice and we’re lucky to have them but we could have so much more. We have some wonderful signs in our historic photographs. We should be looking for ways to reinstall these where they once entertained and lured the sidewalk strollers.
Wouldn’t it be great to see the Katz Drugstore sign back on its original perch at the corner of Sutton and Manchester? A small storefront nearby had an amazing Art Deco explosion that created much visual excitement? Empire Supply had a great pouring paint sign. The People’s Bank had a neat one too. Citizen’s Bank had a great clock.
One of the best I’ve written about before. The marquee of the Maplewood Theater should definitely be restored. The original letters which we still have in the city garage could be icons to generations of Route 66ers. A lightweight welded aluminum frame describing the shape of the original marquee could be mounted on three poles and installed a foot away from the theater building. In that manner ownership issues could be avoided.
Our downtown is booming. Joe Edwards’ signs contribute so much to his streetscape. Shouldn’t we bring back some of our own?
Maplewood’s Paramount Jewelers sign has been declared a county landmark by the Historic Building Commission of St. Louis County. Doug Houser photo.
The People’s State Bank building still exists in the 7100 block of Manchester. Wish that sign were still around. Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.
The first Maplewood Bank building that was once located on the NE corner of Oakland Terrace and Manchester is sporting a couple of great signs in this photo. Courtesy of Wanda Kennedy Kuntz.
A closeup of one of the signs in the previous photo. These neon signs up and down the street created a nostalgic landscape of light that is presently much desired.
On the NW corner of Oakland Terrace and Manchester, the original Citizen’s Bank building had a fabulous clock. The Western Auto sign is also terrific. Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.
Speaks for itself, doesn’t it?
How about this great sign on the Empire Supply building? It would be wonderful to have it back. Most folks know that Empire Supply is one of the old timers in Maplewood. In business since 1931 when the Empire State Building opened in New York. Hence the name. Still in the Loomstein family, this photo is courtesy of those nice folks. Want to know more? Read the plaque in the sidewalk or better yet go in and talk to them.
OK. It’s not neon. This carved stone was part of the once great Maplewood Bank building located on the NE corner of Sutton and Manchester. For years it had lain in the backyard of Bob Scheidt’s mother’s house. It recently disappeared probably during the estate sale after Bob’s mom passed away. If anyone knows the whereabouts of this stone, please let me know. I’d love to get it back. I’ve always had a plan on the backburner to display it somewhere prominently as a cherished piece of a building we should not have lost. Doug Houser photo.
The aforementioned Maplewood Bank building. This was the second building occupied by the bank. This bank later was renamed the Pioneer Bank. Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.
Katz Drugstore. What a sign! The building still survives at the NW corner of Sutton and Manchester. It also has a plaque in the sidewalk but the plaque is located on the south side of Manchester. Who wouldn’t like to have this sign back? Courtesy of Andrew Rochman.
And here is the number one street sign that should be restored as closely as possible to the original – the marquee of the Maplewood Theater. I have detailed all my thoughts on this in a previous post that you can read by clicking here. Courtesy of Wanda Kennedy Kuntz.