Around the world in 100 signs.


An ongoing project with new signs added daily.

I try to include some story or the history behind the sign but there is usually nothing documented so sometimes I let my imagination run wild and make it up.


These photos were collected during 10 years of travelling the globe relentlessly for work.

Read more about that, here.


Follow the project on Instagram @under_rocks_sarah_feeney


🔝 most recent entry.

 

UTAH


We’re at photos 78-82 in the #AroundTheWorldIn100Signs archive and this batch is from other-worldly Utah. 🪐🛸👽

I nipped to #Utah whilst in Colorado for the summer of 2017 (I think).

Most of these photos are from an area that was to be demolished to make way for the railroad.

I spied the motel while returning to the airport and jumped out to photograph it.

As a result, I nearly missed my flight but am happy that I did as the whole area will now be long gone.

(78) No Vacancy at the “Overniter Motel” with a neon-lit suitcase forming the top part of the sign.


(79) Just in case you still didn't know where you were, a couple more neon-lit “Motel” signs, this time on top of the building.



(80) Diamond Lil’s —Abandoned bar and “Red Garter” Dining Room.

Prime Rib Steaks 🥩

Home Maid Ice Cream Bread Pies🍦 🍞 🥧


(81) Painted sign at the @TattonBaird hat shop (more about that, later)


(82) Hand-painted sign at Hippodrome —artist Jeff Decker's studio


Some of these photos feature in my piece “The Great American Road” in Monopod Magazine by @drphilipnewsome

Read about that here

📍Long gone, Utah

 

COLORADO


Signs from #Colorado. Photographed during a road trip in an RV big enough to have taken The Polyphonic Spree on tour.


(71)

Longmont Lamplighter #Motel

📠 Fax Service

☎️ Free Long Distance Calls

📅 The 1960s.

There used to be a man lighting a lamp on top of the sign.

📍Originally in various locations but I *think this is the only one left.

See stories for an original photograph from Roadarch.com






(72)

“Welcome to colourful Colorado”

📍On the #Wyoming/Colorado border



(73)

Low rates at the Great Western Inn

📍Various locations in Colorado



(74)

City Market

Founded by the Prinster family in 1924 and taken over by the Dillons group in 1969.

📍Various locations in Colorado



(75)

Antiques sign

Marks a hut on the side of the road selling random mountain ephemera from the last 100 years.

Of course, it was closed.

📍St. Elmo, CO



(76)

Boulder Friendship Lodge YMCA

I didn’t fancy staying here but why would I when I had the stadium-sized RV?



(77)

(Pete’s) Satire Lounge

Mixed Drinks 🍸

This neon sign has been lighting up Colefax since the 1960s when “Sugie’s” sports bar was transformed into an entertainment venue.

📍1920 E Colefax Ave, CO 80206



 

SALFORD


Is it only in the north that fish and chip shops operate out of residential terraced houses?


(70)

📍Chung’s Chippy

19 Oldfield Road. Salford M5 4NE





ZURICH


This sign is from the home of Dada: Cabaret Voltaire 1916, Zurich.


#Dada was a response to the carnage of the First World War, rejecting Old Europe’s ‘civilised’ values and traditions; its authority, violence, nationalism and #capitalist society.


Instead, Dada was in favour of left-wing politics, nonsense, satire, gobbledegook-poetry words, collage, funny outfits and rollicking good times at performances and happenings around the world.


It all started here.


A new #modernist philosophy, the #avant-garde, the underground, the #artist as theorist, DIY-culture, #anarchy in art and art in anarchy.


#Sign number 69 is now in the #AroundTheWorldin100Signs blog.


📍Cabaret Voltaire

Spiegelgasse 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland








 

EAST GERMANY


It's back to the #ColdWar era and #Germany during the East/West divide for this set of #signs and #signage.


(62)

Office block with canteen signage.

Demolished to make way for the rebuilding of the pre-WW2 Prussian palaces destroyed by allied bombing (and the GDR)

📍Potsdam, Germany





(63, 64, 65, 66)

Signs on 1960s buildings earmarked for demolition. Photographers, cosmetic shops and convenience stores on estates.

The city is so far east it's pretty much on the Polish border.

📍 Eisenhuttenstadt: “Ironworks City”


(67)

Not sure what this signage was for but it’s interesting as this was the year the wall came down and the East/West divide ceased to be:

1989.

📍 The Funkhaus #DDR state radio station. 1951. 📻📡

(Which, by the way, was the largest #radio station in #EastGermany, designed by #Bauhaus architect Franz Ehrlich.)


(68)

This bit of signage is a big deal as it explains the humble smudge of white paint above it: the line which marked the border between the west and the east and the point where the Soviets and the Americans would exchange prisoners.

📍 Glienicke Bridge/Bridge of spies, Potsdam


 

BAUHAUS


There’s not much I need to say about this #sign.


I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Bauhaus twice. I had a Berlin boyfriend who loved the Bauhaus AND driving, hence my luck.

Otherwise, it’s a bit of a bitch to get to the Bauhaus, you do have to complete the journey by car.

(After posting this on the 'gram someone let me know there is a train from Berlin that takes you right there and is—apparently—a delight.)


This photo is me proudly holding aloft the issue of @themodernist I guest-edited.


The second photo shows the original exterior signage and a newer sign that (I think) had been installed by my second visit.


(61)

Bauhaus

1925 — 1932

Designed by Walter Gropius

Typography by Herbert Bayer

📍Dessau, Germany






GERMANY


To the #ColdWar era and #Germany during the East/West divide for this set of #signs and #signage.


During this time the prosperous West enjoyed International investment that saw the major rebuilding of its infrastructure and housing post #WW2. (Berlin was a blank canvas after being mostly destroyed by allied bombing).


As the West enjoyed housing projects such as the #Interbau57 with participating architects #WalterGropius and #LeCorbusier amongst many other super-stars, the East had a more regulated state-dictated aesthetic that became synonymous with the #GDR.


No complaints here though, love a bit of the GDR aesthetic


(57) and (58)

Haus der Kulturen der Welt

(know colloquially as “the pregnant oyster”)

1957

Architect Hugh Stubbins.

📍Tiergarten, Berlin


Signage: “Parapolitik: Kulturelle Freiheit und Kalter Kreig” —advertising the exhibition within.



In the lobby area…

Exhibition sign: “Parapolitics: Cultural Freedom and the Cold War.”

An appropriate sign for this set of photos but also gorge #design and #font.



(60) and (62)

Two photos of signage on the side of the “Industrie-U. Bauglas” business premises for “Glaserei”.

Note delicious green #mosaic and glass brick window.

📍Berlin




(59)

“Die nachste Versteigerung findet statt am : “

📍 This sign is at the information desk around the back of #Templehoff airport.


Originally designed and opened in 1927 and reconstructed by architect Earnst Sagebiel under Nazi instruction in the 1930s.


I suspect this particular area was a later, post-WW2 addition as those tiles look distinctly #60s. This picture is all about the tiles tbh.




(60)

“Silver Wings”

📍You’ll find this one around the back of Templehoff #airport and I’m going to guess it was originally a members lounge in the 1960s but that’s possibly my imagination running away with me.




 

NEW YORK


To New York for #Signage from the TWA Terminal —now Hotel— by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen 1962.

📍 JFK airport, NYC


(51) The distinctive red “TWA” brand signage as seen on the wall of the mezzanine level



(52) ”Cocktails” and “Food” signage on the outside pavement



(53) ”Women” sign above the original 1960s pay-phones



(54) ”Check-in”, the main lobby area



(55) 2 pictures of the departure board, endlessly clicking away even though there are no flights taking off




(56) The newspaper and drinks kiosk (what font is this?)



Is the signage a gratuitous excuse to post these pictures again?

Probably.


▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️


Personal note: So I spent a surreal and eerie 2-night stay here en route from #LA to #London slap-bang in the middle of the pandemic, end of May. It was a quick bolt for the UK in that small window between the restrictions being ‘relaxed’ (never felt less relaxed) and the shutters being slammed down again. It was a stressful and unpleasant journey and the worst one in the last 9-years romp around the world. 🌏 🗺


There was a silver lining though; I got to stay 3 nights in the utterly DESERTED TWA - my fave hotel - and I couldn’t figure out if I was in The Shining or a pleasant purgatory. It was as though the plane had come down and I was actually in my afterlife. A rather fitting one: an airport terminal. Going out exactly as I’d been living.

 

LONDON


(47) South Bank Centre

📍South Bank, London


One of my all-time fave #signs, signposting the way to some of my all-time fave #buildings along the #SouthBank, London🚏


▪️National Film Theatre

▪️Hayward Gallery

▪️Queen Elizabeth Hall

(in at number 1 for me)

▪️Royal Festival Hall

▪️Festival Pier

▪️National Theatre

▪️Jubilee Gardens




(48) National Theatre

📍South Bank, London

(49) Ticket Office kiosk, National Theatre

📍South Bank, London

(50) Queen Elizabeth Hall

📍South Bank, London


 

This next batch (9 photos) was taken during a random walking tour around London (I do a lot of that).


You can find a couple of these walks behind the highlight buttons on my @under_rocks_sarah_feeney Instagram account. There are definitely a few for London.


(38) New Cross Post Office sorting office

📍New Cross

Closed and scheduled to be demolished?

Judging by the style of the building I'm going to guess this is 1960s.



(39) This way to the nearest Post Office!

This one's fixed to a Royal Mail post box.

Someone help me out here, what's the date of this? The Royal Mail/Post Office font changed regularly and can be attributed to a particular decade.



(40) Building numbers on Southhampton Row

📍Bloomsbury

Got to be 1970s



(41) Hamilton House, also Southhampton Row

📍Bloomsbury

Note delicious 1960s tiles.



(42) D.R.M University of London Institute of Neurology Library.

📍Russell Square.

No idea what D.R.M means but this sign has an air of the cold war about it and in my vivid imagination it must be a fall-out bunker or something.



(43) President Hotel

📍50-60 Guildford st. WC1N

Built 1962 and an absolute delight.



(44) Snack Bar

Beppe's Cafe

📍23 W Smithfield EC1A

Its 1960s design and layout are still complete (as of 2021). This cafe was also featured in an episode of Sherlock (the Benedict Cumberbatch version).

The fork has seen better days.



(45) Jenny's Fish & Chips

📍Brighton.

Who doesn't love an original fish & chips sign?



(46) Hotel and India club

📍143 Strand WC2R

This one opened in the 1970s, originally set up by the India League as a symbol of post-independence friendship and its interior retains all of its independence-era aesthetic.





 

NEW JERSEY

(1) The Empress Hotel

Photo, above.


This hotel opened in 1961 and is featured on the single sleeve of Bruce Springsteen's "Hungry Heart."

Asbury Park, New Jersey is a funny little place with all these links to Debbie Harry, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and The Ramones but it’s pretty much just a boardwalk and some boarded-up 60s concrete that hopefully – if it’s lucky – won’t get forgotten about during its current renovations.

Of course, the old Victoriana stuff gets looked after first —that and the Edwardian side-show stuff.

Whilst I was there I spoke to an acid-taking cyclist who told me how beautiful the ribbons were.

(There were no ribbons)


 

(2—5) PENANG, MALAYSIA

5 photos, below.


Penang is a terrific place – utterly unique and has a 1930s Opium-den-vibe to it.


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IMG_6078
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LONG BEACH & ORANGE, CALIFORNIA

5 photos, below.


(6) THE BEST IN TOWN


What the hell Louis III has got to do with a Burgers drive-thru (sic) is something none of us will probably ever know. Least of all Louis III as he died long before the Burger was invented. 


📍555 ATLANTIC AVENUE, LONG BEACH CA


 

(7) BELLFLOWER BAGELS


As featured in my Way to San Jose piece in the Summer issue of @modernistmag: JOURNEY.

An example of ‘programmatic architecture’ established in the early ‘50s which was signage designed to look like the thing it repr