Over the past few years, Schenectady County residents have seen several buildings get demolished. And while old buildings get torn down every day (I sometimes wonder if the “state bird” of the Capital District is the wrecking crane), it still deeply saddens me that many of these structures, when they’re torn down, also destroy the vintage “ghost sign” brickface ads that were painted on the building sides.
Last year, demolition crews in Schenectady kocked down the old Olender Furniture building … and right next to that building, on the adjacent Nicholaus Building at the intersection of State Street and Erie Boulevard … was a ghost sign.
Blog reader and all-around good guy Robert Eaton knew I was having a bummer of a day with those nasty telemarketers, and he posted a message on my Facebook wall to cheer me up – about a discovery he uncovered, simply by looking up one sunny morning.
While walking around Albany’s South End, he happened to spot a fading ghost sign. He gave me the coordinates – somewhere between Second Avenue and Morton Avenue, along one of the side streets adjacent to Elizabeth Street.
Nice. Every time I think I’ve found all the ghost signs that are still visible in the Capital District … a new one appears, just like magic.
Sunday morning. I hop in the car, my Nikon Df camera at the ready.
I’m at the corner of Morton Avenue and Elizabeth Street. Now all I have to do is drive to every intersection along Elizabeth Street and check all four corners of each intersection.
Let’s start. Catherine Street. Nothing.
Osborne Street. Nothing.
Delaware Street. Nope.
Alexander Street. Nada.
Fourth Avenue. Nyet.
I’m running out of cross-streets. Here’s Third Avenue. Nope –
Hey, wait a second…
Right there, clear as day!
For those of you who want to see this sign for yourself, it’s at the corner of Elizabeth Street and Third Avenue, attached to the Varden Brothers roofing company. Yeah, you’ve seen the Varden Brothers trucks around the Capital District, they’re the ones that have what looks like a Warner Bros. movie logo with a “V” replacing the “W”.
This is cool. Much thanks, Robert.
I don’t have very much knowledge about Deiderich Dairy, other than they did deliver doorstop milk to Albany customers in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Like most dairies at that time, their milk came in custom-crafted glass bottles, and may have had their operations at nearby Clare Avenue.
Wow, another ghost sign uncovered. But that sign is so faded and hard to read. Perhaps there’s a clue or two in the ghost sign itself… if the picture could only be enhanced a smidge.
I ran it through a few different filters… and this was the closest I could extract.
I think I can make out the rest of the words. Deiderich Dairy, Pasteurized, Milk and Cream, and I can’t make out that script at the bottom of the sign.
But hey, this is a new ghost sign, so I’m happy. And Varden Brothers hasn’t painted over the sign, so I’m happy as well.
Now if anybody has information on the Deiderich Dairy, please drop me a line in the comments section below.
And if you happen to spot any other ghost signs in either Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Warren, Schoharie, Montgomery, Columbia or Greene Counties …
Let me know where they are.
Gotta catch them before they disappear.
Ghosts tend to do that sometimes.
UPDATE: The good people over at the Albany … The Way It Was Facebook page were kind enough to alert me that not only was the Varden Brothers roofing building the original home of the Deiderich Dairy, but that the script I couldn’t read at the bottom of the ghost sign was for “Betty Gray Ice Cream.”