1 Apr 2017

Hidden Coca-Cola Ghostsign in Portland’s Witherspoon Building

Peter Vogel runs the Nutmegger Workshop in Texas, and specialises in vintage and faux aged signs. Back in 2014 he sent me this collection of pictures of a genuine Coca-Cola ghostsign “trapped within a vestibule behind and between” the Witherspoon Building and its neighbour in Portland, Oregon. It would originally have been visible on an exterior wall but was subsequently covered by the Witherspoon Building’s construction in 1890.

It features the ‘Relieves Fatigue’ slogan for the brand, and the long-time pricing of 5 cents in the USA. Both of these elements were used in our creation of faux ghostsigns for Coca-Cola’s London headquarters.

Finally, below is a photo of Peter in front of the sign he was working on in the building when he was shown this Coca-Cola ghostsign by his client at the creative agency Parliament Inc.

[Update: 19 February 2024]

Make Mine a Whiskey & Coke

Steve Hart sent this picture from the parking garage across the street from the sign. (It’s included on this huge map of nearly 20,000 western US ghost signs.) It shows that the Cola-Cola ghost sign is one of a pair in close proximity; the other being for Dodson’s Whiskey.

Photo taken from above a group of buildings. In two small open spaces there are older walls with fading hand-painted signs on them, one advertising Coca-Cola, the other Dodson's Whiskey.
“Drink Dodson’s Whiskey”, and if that doesn’t work then Coca-Cola “Relieves Fatigue”. Photo: Steve Hart.

The angle of the photo reminded me of the work that Kasey Smith at San Francisco Ghost Signs has been doing with satelite images.

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