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Adding some life to a Ghost Sign at 476 Rhode Island Street

In the past, we’ve posted on “ghost signs of Buffalo” which are old painted (and faded) marketing signs that dot the city’s landscape. Most of these faded relics can be seen on brick structures – they add a ton of character to a building, and also help to tell the history of the building, and the city.

Just yesterday, I ran into Vincent ‘Vince’ Kuntz of Alliance Builders – the owner of a wonderful old brick building at 476 Rhode Island Street, which houses Evolation Yoga. Vince was busy removing a spray paint ‘tag’ from his building’s ghost sign – a process that is not exactly easy. First of all, the job calls for a power washer, and chemicals, which will remove the aerosol paint, but not the historic paint. Then there’s the added precision of concentrating the spray on spots that won’t deface the historic ghost sign elements (it’s better to be safe than sorry). 

As I stood watching Vince carefully remove the tag, we talked about the history of the building, and the ghost sign, which read, “Eventually – Washburn Crosby’s Gold Medal Flour – Why Not Now”. It’s easy to see that some of the sign is difficult to read, which is why it’s so handy to have a Google image search at your beck and call. With the click of a key, a search yields a bunch of old Washburn Crosby Gold Medal Flour signs, flour bags, clocks, and photographs floating around out there on sites such as eBay, Etsy, Pinterest, etc.

Interestingly enough, Washburn Crosby’s Gold Medal Flour was the predecessor to General Mills. You can read about the history of the company here

Sign cleaned – image credit Kuntz

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Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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