Category: Neon

Googie fairytaleOld Colorado City, CO

Sno-White sign sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’m utterly amazed that this sign is still here; that I can refer to it in present tense, rather than with “Once upon a time.” I’m gobsmacked that it’s been so lovingly maintained; that (with the exception of switching from white to its current blue) the lettering is completely unchanged; that the façade is still… More

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Milking itSpokane, WA

Giant Spokane milk bottle sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Remember my post about Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle? Well, it might be the best giant milk bottle in Spokane, but it’s not the only one. Built in the 1930s, the bottles served as neighborhood satellite stores (read: ducks!) for the Benewah Dairy Company. After Benewah folded in 1972, the bottles came to serve different purposes…. More

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California or bustDunsmuir, CA

California Theatre sign sketch by Chandler O'Leary

As it turned out, I didn’t get to do a whole lot of traveling last year—which was a bit of an adjustment, especially compared with previous years. It’s looking like 2015, though, is going to be another big travel year—which to me feels more like normal life. Tomorrow morning I’m hitting the road again …… More

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Bathing beautySeattle, WA

Neon diving girl sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The Olympic Athletic Club diving girl isn’t vintage, but she sure looks like a throwback to me. Every time I find myself in Ballard—or even that general end of the city—I make sure my route takes me past her. I can definitely see her being a Seattle icon fifty years from now—our own Little Mermaid.

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Kitschy kitchenettesColorado Springs, CO

Skylark motel signs sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Just like the neighboring town of Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs is filled with midcentury neon signs and fabulous Googie lettering. This sign is one of my very favorites. It’s been altered a bit over the years, but the fact that a relic like this still exists in a town that’s changing and expanding at a… More

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Ideal, for realBoulder, CO

Vintage strip mall sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’m guessing you won’t be shocked when I tell you I’m not exactly the type of person who likes shopping malls. But a vintage midcentury shopping mall with fantastic neon signage…well, now that’s downright ideal.

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Corn-fedMinnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fair sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Here’s what you do: you go to the Minnesota State Fair with at least four or five people in your party. Then everybody chooses one or two things to eat and shares with the group—that way, you get a small sample of a lot of different things. (Added bonus of sharing small bites: not suffering… More

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