Friday, June 17, 2011

Al's Smoke Shop

Al's Smoke Shop-Villa Park, IL

It's often pretty slim pickin's in the suburbs, at least as far as old neon signs go. At least here in the Chicago area, a lot of the towns further out have shined and buffed their downtowns into sort of old-timey Rockwellian Main Streets, with older buildings restored to a time right around the change to electric street lights, but before illuminated advertising. Between that and the number of old businesses that are long gone, the old-school hanging neon sign is a bit of a rare bird these days. Which is why I was so pleased to find this one in Villa Park. The sign ain't anything really special-brown and white, with white tubes-but the fact that Al's is still in business, and still uses their vintage sign, makes me happy. It's a nice time warp.

You can tell this building is pretty old, too. I didn't notice the builder's name ("Clarke") above the door. I like details like that, and would probably still call it the "Clarke Building".

Apropos of nothing (okay, something!), if you like what you've been seeing on this site, our chief lensman (okay, it's me) has a website! Cool images like the ones you've been enjoying, some you've seen, some surprises, all awesome and available to purchase, to bring a little of the View. Found. fun to your walls!

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