1. Brooks Furniture and Carpets Sign ••• On Blackstone Street near Haymarket stands an ancient brick building with a few great ghost signs on it. The full text of this one reads Brooks & Co. Furniture and Carpets. (#1 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
2. Boston Stone Sign ••• Embedded in a brick building among the cobblestoned streets of the Blackstone Block Historic District is this 2-foot stone with date of 1737. No one really knows the true significance of the minor landmark, but a popular theory is that it was imported from England by painter Thomas Childs and he used it to grind pigments for his paints. (#2 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
3. Braman Dow and Co ••• This partial painted sign is set on an old building on Causeway Street in Boston. Years ago the sign read “Braman Dow & Co”, which was a plumbing company bought by F.W. Webb in the mid 90’s. (#3 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project). ••• 2023 Update: Destroyed, building was razed.
4. Kaplan Furniture Sign ••• This massive 70,000 square-foot facility on Main Street in Cambridge has had many tenants since the Kaplan Furniture Company closed for good in 1972, yet this fantastic vertical ghost sign remains. (#4 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
5. Union Oyster House Sign ••• Ye Olde Union Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in the U.S. and famous for their great seafood and cool horseshoe-shaped oyster bar. I love how if you look at the building from the front, this sign reads backward. My guess is they probably wanted the sign to face the old Rt 93 highway, which ran behind building until about 8 years ago when the Big Dig put 93 underground. (#5 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
6. New England Distributing Ghost Sign ••• This sign is on an old warehouse in the Charlestown Navy Yard not far from the USS Constitution. I believe it was most recently used by Borden Candy (which was later bought out by NEECO). More interesting is the barely readable “White Star” near the top. I’m not sure what was going on here 100 years ago, but the White Star Line was a notable British shipping company which built some damn famous vessels, including the Titanic. (#6 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
7. Mike's Pastry Sign ••• This classic sign of the famous Mike’s Pastry jumps out at you and begs you to enter as you’re strolling through Boston’s North End. It’s almost as good as their cannolis. (#7 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
8. James Hook Lobster Sign ••• This century-old seafood company was shaken to the core in 2008 when a fire destroyed most of their building along with 60,000 lbs of lobster. This little shack and cool handmade sign was all that remained, although the business survived and is vowing to thrive. (#8 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
9. Mugar Omni Theater Sign ••• I’m a fan of simple and classic signage and the one at The Omni Theater, which is part of Boston’s Museum of Science, is no exception. Bonus points for being laid out in Futura all-caps. (#9 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
10. Paramount Theater Sign ••• When it opened its doors in 1932, the Paramount was one of the first movie houses in Boston to play talking motion pictures. As the area deteriorated, the once-thriving theater had been relegated to being a run-down porn house as part of the Combat Zone and closed down in 1976. The city and Emerson College lead a dramatic restoration of the Paramount to its former glory, with the marquee lighting up Washington Street with over 7,000 bulbs. (#10 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
11. Hilltop Steak House Sign ••• Anyone who’s ever driven down Rt. 1 near Boston will recognize this 80-foot monster. Frank Giuffrida, who converted the Hilltop into a western-style steakhouse 1961, had this eye-catcher of a sign built in 1964 for $68,000. Giuffrida apparently liked to think big, as the Hilltop became one of the largest steakhouses in the U.S. (#11 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023: Update: The Hilltop Steak House closed in 2013. The catus sign was converted into a new sign for "Avalon at Hilltop", a residential and commercial development next door.
12. John Hancock Sign at Fenway Park ••• One of my favorite signs at Fenway is the Hancock signature, which sits high above the center field scoreboard. It was installed by the Red Sox in 2001 and stands 24-feet tall. When a Sox player hits a homerun, the LED bulbs flicker in Vegas-like fashion. (#12 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
13. Allen Thompson Whitney Co Sign ••• This century-old sign is located on Canal Street, one block away from the TD Garden. The original text displayed “Allen, Thompson, Whitney Co, Manufacturers of Chairs, 112 Canal St.” in a great slab serif typeface. The company was formed in 1898 (formerly the Boston Chair Company) and had their sales offices located here. Currently the building is being used by Boston Beerworks. (#13 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
14. Hood Milk Sign ••• In front of Boston Children’s Museum sits the iconic 40-foot tall Hood Milk Bottle - an ice cream stand and snack bar that has been here since 1977. It was originally built in 1933 by Arthur Gagner, who used it to sell ice cream next to his store in Taunton, Mass. It eventually was abandoned and later bought by Hood and given to the Children’s museum. If it were a real milk bottle, it would hold 58,620 gallons of milk. (#14 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
15. Pizzeria Regina Sign ••• Anyone who’s been to Pizzeria Regina know they serve slices of heaven, but they also have one of the coolest neon signs in Boston’s North End. Originally founded in 1926 by the Polcari family, Regina’s is is known for its awesome atmosphere and lines that stretch up the street on busy nights. (#15 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
16. Boston Sand & Gravel Sign ••• Boston Sand & Gravel has been making concrete and other material for over 100 years, and was a big provider to Boston’s Central Artery/Tunnel project, aka the Big Dig. I’m not sure when this sign was installed but it’s been visible from Rt. 93 for as long as I can remember. The typeface is a geometric san-serif that was popular for sign makers in the mid-twentieth century. These letterforms eventually became the inspiration for the creation of the typeface “Gotham” by Tobias Frere-Jones in 2000. (#16 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
17. Petes Pub Sign ••• Pete’s Pub was a great dive bar in Boston’s Haymarket Square area for years, and although it was replaced by Durty Nelly’s in 2007, this awesome painted sign remains. (#17 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
18. Cask n Flagon Sign ••• Located just outside Fenway Park behind the Green Monster, the Cask has transformed from a tiny bar decades ago to a massive tavern that is a landmark location for any Sox fan. Among the major renovations they made in 2006 was this sweet old-school script sign that faces Brookline Avenue. (#18 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
19. The Barking Crab Sign ••• Not far from the Children’s Museum along the Fort Point Channel is the Barking Crab, one of the great local seafood joints. What’s interesting about this sign, aside from the hand-painted red, is that it hardly gets seen. It’s located on the south side of the restaurant, practically hidden by an overpass and only foot traffic along the waterfront can view it. (#19 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
20. Boston Wharf Co Industrial Real Estate Sign ••• Atop 263 Summer Street lies this landmark 59-foot-wide beauty. The Boston Wharf Company has been gone for decades now, but the vintage sign stayed, unlit until 2006 when developers refurbished it for $200,000. Now it’s been restored to the same ruby-red glow it had when it was constructed in 1910. (#20 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
21. Rapids Parking Sign ••• On the corner of Merrimac and Friend Streets is one of the many parking lots that surround TD Garden, and this gem of a sign is tucked onto the 6-story Forecaster Building there. (#21 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: Sign was removed and status is unknown.
22. Hockeytown USA Sign ••• Our region has hockey running through it's veins, so lets head up to the twin rinks on Route 1 and check out this classic piece of signage. Located about a slapshot away from the Hilltop, Hockeytown is the place to skate for the young and old alike. I used to play here as a peewee back in the day, and it appears the place hasn’t changed a bit. (#22 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
23. Quaker Oats Ghost Sign ••• This vintage Quaker Oats ghostsign is clinging to life but still proudly displayed on an apartment building on the cgggorner of Cambridge and Grove Streets. (#23 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: Sign was destroyed or covered up when a new building was built in front of it on Cambridge Street.
24. Scotch n gSirloin Sign ••• Although this iconic restaurant shut its doors for good in 1991, the decades-old Scotch n Sirloin sign looks as good as new, and still looms over the North End from 9 floors up. (#24 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
25. Shell Sign ••• Built in 1933, this 68-foot high piece of history is displayed on Magazine Street in Cambridge along the Charles River. Referred to as the "Spectacular" sign, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. In the early 2010's, so many of the bulbs burned out that it appeared to spell the word “HELL” at night, and offended residents petitioned for it to be shut off. (#25 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
26. First National Bank of Boston Sign ••• Cool signs come in all shapes and sizes, and this old exterior bank vault door is about the size of a frisbee, located a couple of feet off the ground on Canal Street. The bank moved out but the sign remains (#26 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
27. Steinway Sign ••• If you’re going to tickle the ivory, you’ll end up at a Steinway & Sons. (#27 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
28. Bleacher Bar Sign ••• Open year-round since 2008, the Bleacher Bar is one of the coolest bars in the city. It’s built right into the Green Monster at Fenway Park and provides a garage door-sized view onto center field. (#28 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
29. Souvenirs Store Sign ••• Just one of the many souvenir shops around Fenway, although this long-in-the-tooth sign takes top honors for its color, vintage bulbs, and overall general disrepair. And bonus points for the Futura Bold Condensed. (#29 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
30. Beantown Pub Sign ••• If you’re walking the Freedom Trail and craving a beverage, hop into the Beantown Pub on Tremont Street - a great bar with an even greater sign. It’s the only bar in Boston where you can drink a Sam Adams while looking across the street at his grave. (#30 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
31. Ys Ghost Sign ••• If you walk along the cobblestone surface of the historic Blackstone Block on Marshall Street, you’ll come across this fading ghost sign. Pointing to a door that has been locked for years, the sign spells “Y’S”, which suggests that the top floors of this building were removed at some point after the sign was painted. (#31 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
32. Twin Donuts Sign ••• When visiting this little shop in Union Square in Allston, you may feel like Marty McFly did after stepping out of his DeLorean. It was founded by George Psathas in 1959 and still has the old-school vibe, great breakfasts and cheap prices. Cool fact about George is that he used to work for Dunkin’ Donuts in the 50’s but left to develop Twin Donut, Inc. (#32 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
33. Blanchards Liquors Sign ••• One of Allston’s best liquor store signs is Blanchard’s, where on busy nights they will card you just to get in the door. (#33 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
34. Littlest Bar Sign ••• Since it was relocated into the financial district from their original spot on Province Street, the Littlest Bar doesn’t seem so “little” anymore. But it does have one of the coolest attractions — tables with built-in taps so you can pour your own Guinness. (#34 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: The bar fell victim to condo developments and was shutdown in 2015. Status of the sign is unknown.
35. Brookline Liquor Mart Sign ••• If you’re in the Brighton area and looking for wine, BLM is the place. Huge selection, Saturday tastings, and a killer neon sign out front on Comm Ave. (#35 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
36. Chinatown Gate Sign ••• At the entrance to Chinatown on Beach Street looms this beautiful Paifang, which leads to one of Boston’s most densely-populated residential districts, with over 28,000 people per square mile, and the third-largest Chinatown in the United States. (#36 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
37. Bakeys Sign ••• Bakey’s, where all patrons eventually end up plastered and passed out on an ironing board. (#37 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: Bakey's was shut down in 2011 and reopened under a different name. The sign was reportedly relocated to the offices of Broder, a real estate development company on Newbury Street.
38. The Tam Sign ••• If you look close enough you can make out the name of the place, but you may need a magnifying glass. (#38 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
39. Lawyers Building Sign ••• Built in 1929 one block from the State House, this 12-story structure was the original home of the Boston College Law School. The LB stands for "Lawyers Building". (#39 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
40. Cantina Italiana Sign ••• The oldest restaurant in the North End, Cantina Italiana has been serving great food on Hanover Street since 1931. But the best part may be their classic brightly lit sign, which drips animated wine down into a neon glass. (#40 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
41. Prince Pizza Sign ••• Prince is famous for it’s great pizza and old-school family atmosphere, but it’s a landmark because of it’s leaning tower of pizza along Route 1. (#41 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
42. Jacob Wirth Sign ••• Located in the heart of the theater district, Jacob Wirth is a historic German-American restaurant and bar. Built in 1868, it’s the 2nd oldest operating restaurant in the city, and one of the few to have a working timepiece as part of the front signage. (#42 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: Jacob Wirth shuttered in 2018, but the clock sign is still there.
43. Union Savings Bank Sign ••• On the corner of Tremont and Stuart Streets is one of the coolest ghost signs in the city. The Union Savings Bank building is still standing, although it now houses apartments instead of the citizens’ hard-earned moola. (#43 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: Entire ghost sign was inexplicably painted over.
44. Idas Italian Restaurant Sign ••• Among the many great Italian places in the North End, it’s hard to notice Ida’s, especially when the sun is out. But come dusk this sign is a beacon of neon drawing in patrons off of Hanover Street. (#44 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
45. House of Blues Sign ••• Although not unique to Boston, the House of Blues opened it’s first club in Harvard Square in 1992. That location closed down a decade later. But in 2008, HOB returned to it’s roots and a better 50,000 square-foot venue opened just beyond Fenway’s green monster, where this giant blue sign towers over Lansdowne Street. (#45 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
46. Just Suits Sign ••• Long ago you may have been able to get yourself a fancy suit here, but if you come to this small alley on North Street today, all you will find is some garbage cans and maybe a stray cat. (#46 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: Sign was unfortunately destroyed to make room for a new ordinary sign for Riccardo's Ristorante.
47. Wear Safety Shoes Sign ••• Facing the ocean side of the Charlestown Navy Yard is a WWII style reminder of wearing proper footwear. Although it’s been restored in the past year and has lost some of it’s faded worn-away look, it still is a classic and has a certain nostalgic charm. (#47 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
48. Del Friscos Sign ••• Although Del Frisco's has only been here since early 2011, it already has a reputation of serving some of the best food in the city, along with a spectacular view off of newly renovated Liberty Wharf. (#48 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
49. Imperial Marble and Stone Ghost Sign ••• The origination of this ghost sign on the side of a brownstone on Shawmut Ave is largely a mystery. It’s unclear if it was exposed after the adjacent building came down, or if it was painted on afterward. Either way, the great classic typography makes it a hidden gem of the South End. (#49 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
50. Citgo Sign ••• We’ve reached the halfway point of the series and what better way to celebrate the milestone than highlight a sign some would call the granddaddy of them all. Located in the heart of Kenmore Square, the iconic Citgo Sign has become a landmark on the Boston skyline. Not only is it visible over the left field wall from Fenway Park, but runners of the Boston Marathon can spot it at the 20th mile mark. It was originally erected in 1940 featuring the “Cities Service” logo, then replaced by the now familiar Citgo “trimark” in 1965. The sign was renovated in the 1980s after efforts to remove it faced fierce opposition. The double-sided sign is said to be the largest in New England (60-feet by 60-feet), and illuminated from dusk to midnight by 9,000 linear feet of animated LED stripe units. Before the LEDs were installed in 2005, it contained more than five miles of neon tubes. A fellow by the name of Marty Foley has been the sign’s caretaker since 1965. (#50 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
51. Malden Square Bowladrome Sign ••• Those who are still up for some old-school candlepin can head over to Charles Street in Malden for a few strings. Recently the place was bought and the name was changed to Ryan Family Amusements, but the new owners wisely kept these 50s-style signs intact. (#51 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: Building was razed, status of sign is unknown.
52. Hoods Milk Plant Sign ••• Not far from the Bunker Hill monument sits another jutting structure known locally as the smokestack of the "Hood Plant". Hood as been a well known dairy icon in New England for over a century, and recently has expanded it's reach beyond the northeast. This facility is now mainly used for R&D but this pillar displaying the brand remains for those traveling along Rt. 93. (#52 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
53. Cutler Majestic Theatre Sign ••• When it opened in 1903, the Boston Globe called the 1,200-seat theater "the most beautiful playhouse Boston has yet seen." By 1983 however, it had deteriorated into a state of disrepair and faced abandonment. Like the nearby Paramount, Emerson College purchased the theater and eventually restored it's original Beaux-Arts architecture and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (#53 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
54. Kowloon Sign ••• Established in 1950 by the Wong Family, Kowloon has undergone several expansions and has grown to become one of the premier and top-grossing Chinese restaurants in the United States. (#54 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
55. Dudley Tailors Ghost Sign ••• Back in the day if you were looking for a tuxedo or pressed suit for less than three bucks, Dudley Tailors would take care of you. This ancient ghost sign is located on the back of an old building on Washington Street in downtown Roxbury and can be seen from the Dudley Bus Station. (#55 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: Building may have been razed.
56. Teddie Peanut Butter Sign ••• Not far from the Mystic River in Everett is the family-owned Leavitt Corp, the makers of the number one selling natural peanut butter in the northeast. Their classic facility sign, erected at some point in the 1960s, sports a cute running bear (chipmunk?), and is lit at night with floodlights since it no longer illuminates on its own. (#56 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
57. Modern Pastry Shop Sign ••• While Mike's attracts most of the tourists, Modern Pastry is a worthy North End rival across the street. The family-owned bakery has been around since the 1930s and many locals prefer Modern's lighter, crispier cannoli, which is piped to order on the spot. (#57 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
58. Whittemore-Wright Sign ••• Whittemore-Wright is an old tanning oil company that's been around since 1908. Three sides of their brick factory in Charlestown is covered with painted signs, but this side is the most interesting. Before it was devoured by ivy, the sign read "Leather is your foot's best friend". (#58 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
59. Rosebud Diner Sign ••• Rosebud is one of those vintage American diners that will take you back to a simpler time. Built in 1941, it is housed in a restored streamlined Worcester lunch car that looks like it could roll down the tracks at any moment (if it had wheels instead of a brick base). And the awesome script neon sign atop the diner lights up bright pink just in time for supper. (#59 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
60. Coca Cola Fried Clams and Pizza Sign ••• This classic Coke sign in Somerville is in remarkably good condition, despite the fact that no business in this building has served fried clams or pizza for years. It looks like a typical hand-painted ad, until you realize that the kid holding the bottle is really a creepy little dude who belongs in a Tim Burton movie. (#60 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
61. Colonial Drug Sign ••• Colonial Drug, established in 1947, is a family-owned old-fashioned drug store in Harvard Square and calls itself the "Hard-to-Find Fragrance Specialist". (#61 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: This location was closed down in 2013, moved to Newton, and sadly the sign did not make the journey.
62. Old Haffenreffer Brewery Sign ••• The space currently occupied by Samuel Adams beer maker Boston Beer Company was once the home to the legendary Haffenreffer Brewery. Many of the original buildings and remnants from when the complex was built in late 1800s are still around. The top of the smokestack that towers over the brewery has been intentionally shortened over the years for zoning reasons, so the letters HAF are missing. (#62 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: They've built a wireframe structure at the top of the smokestack and added the letters HAF to complete the missing name.
63. Modern Theatre Sign ••• Originally built in 1876 as the Dobson Building, the Modern Theatre has seen its ups and downs. Like the nearby Paramount, it fell into neglect and decay by the mid 1980s, then resurrected by Suffolk University. It reopened in 2010 as a renovated little gem of a theater with a modest 185 seats. (#63 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
64. Coolidge Cleansers Sign ••• Coolidge Cleansers is one of those signs that was recently renovated, yet retains the look of the original worn out sign. The place has been renamed "Coolidge Looking Good" but for some reason they kept the old name in retro script on their facade. (#64 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
65. Paul Revere House Sign ••• The Paul Revere House sign is a simple, elegant symbol, much like the old colonial house it's attached to. It was built in 1680, and a hundred years later it was home to the man who took that famous midnight ride. Much of the tiny dwelling in the north end is original, and for 3 bucks you can take a tour and see it first hand. (#65 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
66. Scollay Under Sign ••• Before 1963, Government Center was known as Scollay Square and what is currently the Blue Line subway platform underground was once called Scollay Under. Recently some false walls were torn down, and the old Scollay Under mosaic tiles were uncovered, and can still be seen on the eastern portion of the platform. (#66 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
67. Dana Hill Liquors Sign ••• Dana Hill Liquors is a small package store nestled under this enormous neon emblem, which may make you feel like you're in Las Vegas instead of quaint Central Square Cambridge. (#67 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
68. Biscuit Ghost Sign ••• On North Washington Street in Boston's Italian district is this old ghost sign advertising biscuits. A chunk of the type was removed long ago so it's difficult to conclude which company painted the ad. The only type visible above "BISCUIT" is 3 letters: "OMA". Many years ago there was a company located about a block away called the Loose-Wiles Biscuit Company. They eventually formed the brand Sunshine Biscuits, which is still around today. They created many brands of baked goods such as Cheez-its, Animal Crackers and Hydrox cookies, but my guess is that this sign once displayed another one of their products - TAKHOMA BISCUIT. (#68 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
69. Midtown Hotel Sign ••• You won't find too many vintage neon in the Back Bay area, but a couple of blocks away from Fenway Park on Huntington Ave is the Midtown Hotel, a no-frills mid-range place with a cool old-school sign. (#69 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
70. Warren Tavern Sign ••• Founded in 1780 and located just steps away from the Freedom Trail in Charlestown, The Warren Tavern is the oldest tavern in Massachusetts and one of the most historic watering holes in the US. It was named after General Joseph Warren, a key player in the revolution and the fallen hero of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Some famous visitors who stopped here for "refreshments" include Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. (#70 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) <a href="http://100bostonsigns.tumblr.com">100bostonsigns.tumblr.com</a>
71. Muls Diner Sign ••• Mul’s Diner is a hidden gem with a vintage feel and a favorite of the locals in Southie. (#71 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: The building was demolished in 2020 to be replaced by a 6-story development, and status of the sign is unknown.
72. Terkelsen Building Sign ••• One of the nicest ghost signs in the commonwealth is viewable on Summer Street in Southie at the former home of the Terkelsen Machine Company, "manafacturers of spiral washing machines". (#72 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
73. Coca-Cola Ghost Sign ••• Wedged into one of the neighborhoods of Everett and surrounded by two-family residences on Bucknam Street is this fantastic out-of-place Coke ghost sign. (#73 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
74. Ferdinands Furniture Ghost Sign ••• The iconic blue trim and flatiron design of Ferdinand's furniture store still dominates the area of Dudley Square, even though the building has been vacant since the 1990s. (#74 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: The Ferdinand Building was restored and integrated into a new development called the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building. The sign was either covered up or destroyed.
75. Jimmy Maggs Napoles Airplane Sign ••• Across the street from the Suffolk Downs station in East Boston is Jimmy Maggs "Napoles", a typical restaurant and lounge, aside from the protruding Piper prop plane with its nose buried in the roof. (#75 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
76. Gamsun Ghost Sign in Chinatown ••• I don't believe the Gamsun Restaurant is around the corner any more, but this awesome ghost sign in Chinatown lives on. (#76 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: The sign was painted over and destroyed.
77. SImcos Takeout Sign ••• Boston is not known for stellar hotdog stands, but Simco's in Mattapan is one of the few. They've been around since the Great Depression, and their retro-cool neon signage looks like it's been there since the beginning. (#77 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
78. Old Marlowe Wine Co Ghost Sign ••• Painted during a time when doctors apparently treated diseases with alcohol, this impressive ghost sign on Friend Street reads "The Old Marlowe Wine Co. / Medicinally Pure / Liquors / Bald Eagle Whiskey" (#78 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
79. Route 1 Mini Golf Sign ••• This multi-layered retro sign is the face for this mini golf joint in Saugus, but it usually plays second fiddle another tall structure on the property – a 12-foot high orange dinosaur that looms over Route 1. (#79 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) 2023 Update: the business shut down in 2017 and land sold to a developer. Building was razed, status of sign is unknown.
80. Metropolitan Storage Sign ••• Around the corner from MIT in Cambridge is Metropolitan Storage's massive brick century-old warehouse. It's the largest self storage facility in New England, housing 260,000 square feet of storage space including 1,500 individually locked rooms.(#80 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
81. Cheers Sign ••• Where everybody knows your name. (#81 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
82. Arcand Suspension Specialists Sign ••• Suspension Specialists was was originally established by George Arcand in 1908, and was primarily a blacksmith shop fixing suspensions on horse carriages. They are still around servicing vehicles of all sizes, and sporting a classic red sign with a great sharp-angled typeface. (#82 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
83. Model Cleansers Sign ••• Along Cummins Highway in the heart of Mattapan, this Model Cleansers ghost sign is easy to miss because it faces an alley. (#83 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
84. Villa Francesca Sign ••• Villa Francesca is another one of those great Italian restaurants in in the North End and has one of the largest painted signs in the city. This well-hidden 4-story-tall beauty is tucked into the left side of the building and is blocked from view if you are walking from Hanover Street. (#84 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
85. Boston Garden Sign ••• Before the original Boston Garden was demolished and replaced by the current TD Garden 1995, this sign graced the exterior on the Causeway Street side. It was preserved and now resides inside the building behind the bar in the Legends Club. (#85 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
86. Coke-Pepsi Ghost Sign ••• There’s no shortage of Coke ghost signs in the city and this one resides on the side of a brownstone on the corner of Rutland Square and Columbus Ave in the South End. Strangely enough it’s paired up with another aging painted sign on the same wall – a vintage logo of longtime rival Pepsi. (#86 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
87. Kellys Diner Sign ••• This great neon sign and old-school clock sit atop a two-piece dining car known as Kelly's Diner in Somerville. (#87 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
88. Chelsea Double Ghost Signs ••• On the corner of Central Ave and Shurtleff Street in Chelsea is this set of bizarre double ghost signs. Each square has 2 ads from different time periods overlaying each other. On the left is "You'll go for Y-KOF cough syrup" combined with "Visit our Fountain". On the right is "Sold Drug Counters" covering an old Coca-Cola ad. (#88 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
89. Santoro Bakery Ghost Sign ••• This old brick building in Cambridge now houses a dentist and tanning salon, but still reveals a sign of yesteryear as a reminder where you could go to get top-notch french bread pizza and scali rolls. (#89 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
90. Sparrs Drug Rx Sign ••• For decades Arthur Sparr owned and operated this drug store/medical supply shop/luncheonette around the corner from Boston's famous hospitals in the Longwood medical area. It was one of the few places on earth where you could shop for a stethoscope while waiting for your turkey club. He closed the business in 2002 and the building was eventually sold to Harvard Medical School. Luckily this high-quality ghost sign remains. (#90 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
91. McDonalds Double-Arch Sign ••• McDonald’s on Gallivan Boulevard in Dorchester still has the rare giant “M” sign that extends to the ground in front of the restaurant. Apparently it is one of only two McDonalds left in the state to have this double-arch style (the other is in North Hampton, MA). (#91 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
92. Pillsbury's Best Sign in Chelsea ••• This spot on Congress Avenue in Chelsea was a longstanding home to the popular El Dorado Bakery until it was destroyed by fire in late 2013. The brick wall of the adjacent building was exposed once the charred remains were removed, revealing an amazing Pillsbury painted ghost sign which had been unseen for decades. (#92 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project) ••• 2023 Update: A new building was constructed on the site, covering up the painted brick sign.
93. Original Dunkin Donuts Sign ••• Here on the on Southern Artery in Quincy is the very first Dunkin’ Donuts. Back when it opened in 1950, coffee was sold for a dime and a script sign of the original logo was displayed over the door. In subsequent years the store went through several renovations, lost its uniqueness, and looked like all the other DD's out there. But in 2011, the shop went back to its roots and did a retro-renovation and replicated the original sign. (#93 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
94. Bostonia Cigars Sign ••• On the corner of Blackstone and Hanover Streets stands this beautiful old building which still displays several ghost signs on all sides. Bostonia Cigars was founded by Frank X. Oberle, who immigrated from Germany in the late 1800s. (#94 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
95. Metal Stamping and Plating Sign ••• On Congress Street in the Fort Point area of the Seaport District stands this vintage brick building. Currently it is home to Lucky's Lounge, a hidden speak-easy club known for its retro feel and Sinatra-style live music. On the back of the building visible from Summer Street is this vertical ghost sign, most of which is illegible except for "Metal Stamping and Plating." (#95 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
96. Sheraton Commander Sign ••• Adjacent to the Cambridge Common in historic Harvard Square, the Commander has been a landmark since it was opened in 1927. The hotel pays homage to George Washington, who took command of the Continental Army in here in 1775. Back in the sixties it became one of the first franchised Sheraton hotels. The signature red neon sign still towers overhead outside, one of the few remaining roof-mounted signs in the city. (#96 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
97. Paper Boxes Sign in Chelsea ••• The Atlas Lofts is a thriving 53-unit apartment building in a redeveloped area of Chelsea. In the early 1900s it was the location of a cardboard box factory that served much of New England. The developers wisely retained the century-old signage. (#97 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
98. Berwick Cake Co Sign ••• The Berwick Cake Company went out of business in 1977, but made a significant contribution to the world back in in the 1920s. According to food historians, Berwick was selling a product with 2 mound-shaped pieces of chocolate cake with a sweet filling sandwiched between them. They were not selling well. As a marketing stunt, the company had the actors of the Broadway show "Makin' Whoopee," then playing in Boston, toss the cakes into the audience at curtain call. They were an immediate hit, and the Whoopie Pie was born. (#98 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
99. Converse Headquarters Sign ••• In 2015, when Converse relocated its headquarters from the suburbs to a century-old restored property in Boston’s Lovejoy Wharf, they wanted to make a statement with their signage. Installed on the roof of the 9-story building is one of the most impressive signs in the city. Extending 10-feet tall and spanning 80-feet wide, the letters were designed to match the building’s rust brick facade and copper patina trimmings. (#99 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)
100. Schraffts Building Sign ••• The grand finale of the Boston Sign Project is the landmark Schrafft’s sign which is mounted atop the company’s former factory in Charlestown’s Sullivan Square. Schrafft’s was a candy, chocolate and cake company founded in 1861, and had stores and restaurants along the east coast up until the business was shut down in 1981. The old factory was converted into commercial office space, and in 2016 the famous neon sign was reconstructed exactly as it was with a high-efficiency, energy reducing lighting system. The sign remains an icon, and at night the pink neon glow can be seen for miles in all directions. (#100 of 100 in the Boston Signage Project)