Click on pictures to enlarge!
1. Ritchie Drive-In Glen Burnie, MD 1939-1984. Although I arrived a tad late for the screen demolition, The 1972 pylon sign would remain for another week, with the humorous message on the marquee. (the message reads "FINAL FEATURE...B & B WRECKING...X X X") Ritchie Drive-In was the FIRST in Maryland, opening within months of Ritchie Hwy. opening. Now another shopping center.
2. Sears - Ritchie Hwy., Glen Burnie 1966-1998 Interesting pre-cast concrete elements graced all 4 sides of the building. Quality glazed brick and terrazzo interior floors seemed beyond appropiate for the new Sears in 1966, which replaced the 1954 Brooklyn Park store. Moved to Marley Station Mall in 1998.
3. Severna Park Bowl - Ritchie Hwy. This sign was THE standout among a sea of plastic backlit signs. Still animating in the end (B...O...W...L...all off...all on...all off...repeat...) It was replaced with a boring backlit sign, in 2000. It was offered to me but at that time I foolishly had to turn it down due to its size. The tripple-row red tubes could be read for a mile on the 1960 classic.
4. Starting Gate - Rt. 198 Laurel, MD. We just said goodby to this 40' tall landmark. Ready to collapse, it was demolished in October 2007. The early 1960's pylon, next to Laurel Racetrack, featured animated neon with chasing indicator bulbs. I should have checked into this- I knew it could not last much longer.
5. Submarine Haven - 600 blk. Eastern Ave, Essex. Once a local chain, I shot this pic in 1993 as I was working down the street. I came back a week later, the place had closed and the sign was gone!
6. Terrace Motel - Washington Blvd., Elkridge, MD Still a clean, modern operation, By 2002 this old sign became a safety issue. Although still lighting, It was replaced with an updated version. I received all the tubes from this original 1957 pylon, but the metal components were collapsing when removed from the poles.
7. Tip Top Motor Court - This early 1940's sign sat directly across the street from the Terrace Motel. Still lighting in 2006, it was replaced with a simular version, but reading TIP TOP MOTEL'. I wish I knew about this one, but it was too late. The old sign was even featured on a 1942 hand-colored postcard of the motor court.
8. Town & Country Motel - Towson MD Positioned to be seen from York Rd., This 1950's porcelain neon display with matching channel letters beconed weary travelers to the tiny motel. Three months after I shot this picture, A fatal fire occured in the room directly under this sign and they were destroyed. It has since re-opened, but the signs are now gone.
9. Westview Mall - Rt. 40 W Catonsville, MD Now 'De-malled', the original 1958 sign lasted until 1993. Belsinger Signworks built the huge one-ton 'W' with 'cinemascope' lettering, popular at the time. I shot the top pic in 1984, and the lower one in 1993, as it was being dismanteled on the back lot. (It was WAY to big and heavy for my collection-in 1993 I had just started!)
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