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Exploring ghost signs in Richmond, VA

History can be found on any building, apartment, or factory in the River City.

PepsiCo ghost sign

The PepsiCo ghost sign is almost covered, but those iconic reds and blues are still visible.

Photo by @ghostrva

Boo! It’s a sign. The term “ghost signs” may not ring a bell, but old painted advertisements on the sides of buildings are scattered across Richmond. Many of them are relics of former businesses, others may just be lost to time.

We went exploring + found some faded favorites.

PepsiCo. advertisement | Corner of Brook Road and West Clay Street

The beverage company now has a factory out in Chesterfield County, but back in 1923, the River City was the second home of PepsiCo. We can’t determine when this was painted, however.

Old Weiman’s Bakery | 127 N. 17th St.

Though this classic has closed, there’s still a larger version of the 1940s-era sign painted along the side of the Shockoe building. Now, it’s set to become a 12-story apartment tower.

Feeds and Seeds Ghost Sign

We think these signs look similar to the LaDiff designs on their old building.

Photo via @ghostrva

F.H. Boehling Co.'s Feed & Seeds | 18th + E. Cary St.

This food company from the 1800s has watched over Richmond streets for decades, all starting with German immigrants Herman Heinrich Boehling and second wife, Maria Elizabeth Gerling.

Tyler & Bradley Inc. Real Estate | 28 N. 8th St.

Today, there is a Tyler Realty Group still selling homes across the Richmond region. We’re not sure if they’re related, but we found a Mr. Tyler listed as “one of the youngest real estate dealers in Richmond” in a 1915 Library of Virginia archive.

Send us more ghost signs across the city so we can shine some light on their past.

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