Old signs go better with....old buildings
Full-scale replica drug store
The first situation that needed to be addressed was storage. It wouldn't be me to build a common shed, and I wasn't going to clog the garage with old signs. Since I had already built a collection of old pharmacy relics, Why not solve two situations with one building?
With scaled drawings in hand, I had to assure the permit office that this building was in fact just a big prop. "Your property is not zoned for a drug store", said the county inspector. Upon completion, The inspection yielded an appreciation from the inspectors.
I constructed the 12' by 24' storage building frame-style. It is topped with a slightly angled flat roof. A parapet wraps around three of its sides. The vertical commercial sheathing contains full size plate glass display windows, framed with 1" by 3" lacquered aluminum extrusion with stainless steel corner accents. Salvaged glass block and an antique door are trimmed in lacquered plate aluminum trim. Thirteen original porcelain light fixtures, which were rescued from an old White Tower Hamburgers in Baltimore, adorn the top two sides of the parapet. Rewired and restored, they are mounted on a 4" by 4" custom-fabricated aluminum extruded tube, wired internally, and finished gloss dark blue.
The 'drug store' itself stores odds and ends of my sign collection. The exterior also displays much of my pharmacy collection. The restored 'Bell Drug' sign*. A 1954 Coca-Cola 'privlege' band sign, restored with coke buttons (rescued in 1992 from Baltimore). The 'Prescriptions...' neon window sign was rescued from Lindy's Pharmacy, in Linthicum, in 2003. The neon 'Hendlers Ice Cream' sign was purchased at an ad show for too much $$$$ in 2000. Both windows display old unopened drug merchandise, soda fountain paraphenalia and old lettered showcards. Neon tubes of gold and blue back up the glass block. To round out the exterior are a 1966 glass telephone booth and a 1965 Coca-Cola vending machine.
*Bell Drug sign detailed on page 10.
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UPDATE: The drugstore building was destroyed in a fire in August 2015. All of the Baltimore memoralbilia stored inside was lost, as well as the display windows and their contents. The Bell Drug and LIQUORS sign survived, as well as the phone booth and Coke machine. The Coca-Cola wrap-around band sign received heavy flame damage on the corner, over the entrance door.