'Ghost' Dr Pepper sign revealed in building demolition | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

'Ghost' Dr Pepper sign revealed in building demolition

Posted By on Tue, Aug 27, 2013 at 9:58 AM

click to enlarge IT'S A PEPPER: Uncovered after all these years. - ASHLI AHRENS
  • Ashli Ahrens
  • IT'S A PEPPER: Uncovered after all these years.

We wrote earlier about the unhappiness of historic preservationists when the Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services demolished the former Massery laundry on Seventh Street to make way for a future expansion.

But, as you can see above, the demolition had an unexpected historical bonus. It revealed another "ghost sign," one of the wall-painted ads of bygone years that occasionally resurface in redevelopment work or else slowly fade from sight with the passage of the years. This one marks a building which once housed Dr Pepper bottling equipment.

This sign, with some graffiti nearby already detracting, is on a building at 1111 W. 7th now occupied by the Canvas Community, across the street from Goodwill. A website about the W. 7th Street commercial historic district gives some background:

Two buildings in the West 7th Street Historic District were constructed in the 1920s and are both located at 1100 block of W. 7th. The building at 1107 W. 7th was constructed c. 1925 for Little Rock Bottling Company, who advertised the manufacture of Chero-Cola. The Dr. Pepper Bottling Company moved into the building in the late 1930s, remaining through the 1950s. The building was expanded to the west in 1930. Next door, on the southeast corner of Ringo and W. Seventh Streets, the Massery Laundry Company Building at 1123 W. Seventh Street was built c. 1925. The one and one-half story brick building is typical of 1920s commercial design in its decorative brick pattern with subtle cast concrete details. 

Update I: Arkansas Historic Preservation registrar Dawn Washington said the owner of the property, Robert Cassinelli, can paint over the sign if he wants, but the state agency would discourage him from doing that. However, painting over the sign would not adversely affect the building's historic standing the way structural changes would. 

Update II: Cassinelli has called to say he does not plan to paint over the sign. He said it could use some restoration. He does plan to paint over the graffiti that has been painted on his building since the dry cleaners building was torn (you can see it in the bottom right of the photograph). 

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