Ghost Signs in Tallinn

This ghost sign I saw through the window of my hostel room. It is on an former furniture factory in a courtyard. The sign says “Mööblitööstus,” which is Estonian for “furniture manufacture.” Two restored hand-painted signs from when this building used to house a pharmacy and a gallery. Now it […]

Ghost Signs in Riga

Ģipša Fabrika (Gypsym Factory) is located on the island of Kipsala, a former fishermen’s village. This nineteenth-century brick building used to be a plaster factory. Now it is part of a luxury apartment complex. Somewhere in the Old Town These two signs are on a building on Albert Street, a street […]

Ghost Signs in Ivano-Frankivsk

Ivano-Frankivsk, formerly Stanisławów or Stanislaviv, is a small historic city about 2.5 hours south-east of Lviv, located at the foothills of the Carpathians. It was built in the mid-17th century as a private fortress. Along with Lviv, in 1772 it became part of the Austrian Empire, then part of the […]

Hand-Painted Sign in Lublin

At first I thought this was a ghost sign, but after looking closer at what it says and later finding that there really is a store with that name now, I understood it was not. It’s a store that sells gifts, souvenirs, and postcards. I really like the sign nevertheless.

Edinburgh’s Ghost Signs

I expected to find more ghost signs in Scotland, but nevertheless I found some interesting ones in Edinburgh. I’m not sure about the dates of these – unlike in Ukraine, the language of the signage doesn’t help to date the sign. But by what is being advertized and font it seems like […]

Traces of the Past in Brody

In the 1800s and early 1900s (and probably earlier), many of my ancestors lived in Brody, including some Polish and German ancestors. However, since Brody was severely destroyed during the wars of the last century and because many of my relatives were forced to flee, very few traces of their […]

Ghost Sign Vandalism

It’s very sad to see ghost signs defaced. Graffiti is just one of the many threats to these old signs. Recently I noticed that an interesting Polish-language sign in Lviv had been vandalized. Then shortly later, the West Ham tag was painted over with pink paint to better reveal the letters […]

Ghost Signs in Chicago

Chicago has its share of ghost signs. Here a few from a couple neighborhoods on the north side of the city. The first one is an old ad for the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company, which was based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Schlitz brewery was opened in 1858 and in 1902 […]

Ghost Signs in Baraboo, Wisconsin

Baraboo, Wisconsin, was the headquarters and winter home of the famous Ringling Brothers circus. The Ringling Brothers held their first circus in 1884. In 1919 they merged with the Barnum & Bailey Circus and moved their winter headquarters to Connecticut. The old grounds and buildings are now a living museum […]

Ghost Signs in Milwaukee

I took a day trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and found some pretty cool ghost signs in the Third Ward, a historic warehouse district.