Posted on Friday, July 29th, 2022
A few weeks ago, a demolition crew began tearing the siding off a building in the downtown Chicago neighborhood of Lake View. In the process, they exposed two very well-preserved “ghost signs” on the building’s original siding. When Kelsey Dalton McClellan and Andrew McClellan called to tell Bob Behounek of this, he drove there to get a closer look.
It turns out that the two signs—Ward’s Soft Bun Bread and Shell Gasoline—were the work of Jack Briggs, the founder of the famed Chicago sign company, Beverly Signs. They were apparently painted (and signed) by Briggs years before Beverly Signs opened, probably in the late 1920s or early 1930s.
Bob and fellow Chicago Brushmasters Robert Frese, Kelsey and Andrew have teamed up to save the signs from destruction. The building’s owner has given them 30 days—until August 22—to have the signs removed and taken to storage before the building is demolished.
The estimated cost is $20,000, and the team has started a GoFundMe page to attempt to raise the money. The goal is to find a local museum to display the signs, and the American Sign Museum has also offered to give the signs a home. Take a minute and help out today via GoFundMe. The clock is ticking, so don’t delay!
You can watch the news story video here.