Today in adventures in journalistic high drama, The Times turns again to Highland Park, the city enclosed within Detroit's borders, and flowery language. Some would say this article was about finding two murals when the building next door came down. Two ads for Honor Bright and Black Beauty were painted onto Highland Park buildings between 1915 and 1925, covered by new construction, and then rediscovered after the adjacent building was demolished. But to The Times, this is not just about uncovering cool old shit. To them demolition is "a municipal act filed somewhere between reclamation and surrender," and a mural is "a rare portal to the faraway past, when boys wore knickers and Highland Park was the vibrant home of the Ford Motor Company’s first moving assembly line." Ah yes, American's finest Nostalgia News source. The times waxes poetic for several more paragraphs.
What is it about old advertisements, sometimes called “ghost signs,” that so intrigues us? After all, they are nothing more than expired expressions of commercialism, conveying little care for art or posterity. Yet our scanning gaze will almost always get lost in their echoing calls for attention. Why? After all these feely feelings, we finally get to the facts. Buried within this story, is the fact that the local blogger James Griffioen of Sweet Juniper first wrote about these murals, A YEAR AGO. Seems rather insulting to the seeming source for this article to put that at the end, no? Don't get us wrong, we love that someone in the Times tower on Eighth Ave in New York City is kicking back in their cube reading our local blogs and we want to encourage that. But if you are going to give us poetics instead of history, at least cut to the source of the real info faster. · In a City Fighting Blight, ‘Ghost Signs’ as Portals to a Bygone Era [New York Times]
·Two Ghost Signs: "Honor Bright" and "Black Beauty" (Reliance Manufacturing Company, Chicago) [Sweet Juniper]