Washington DC Signage

I made a mini-roadtrip this morning to DC for some good old fashioned neon.

Clock Hands pointing down.
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A&R Auto Parts. The neon appears it originally read something else.
1824 Bladensburg Road NE
Washington, DC 20002

http://www.aandrautoparts.com/

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Ride With Safety – Yellow Cab Company.

http://www.dcyellowcab.com/
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Ohio Restaurant
1380 H St. NE
Now Closed
More pictures, including ones of the interior, can be found here.
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Atlas Theater
1331 H St. NE
Built 1938
Architect John J. Zink.
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S and S Shoe Repairing
1126 H St. NE

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Storefront
New York Ave NE
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Budget Motor Inn
1615 New York Avenue Northeast
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Syd’s Drive In Liquor Store
2325 BLADENSBURG RD NE

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Automatic Transmission
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Former Roy Rogers?
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Barn shaped building
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Publick Playhouse
5445 Landover Road
Hyattsville, MD 20784
Opened 1947
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Modern Dry Cleaning/ Electric Maid
Takoma Park, MD
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Rayco Auto Seat Covers
7998 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
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Glenmont Arcade
Formerly home to “Tuffy” Leeman’s duckpin Bowling alley. Tuffy, a pro football hall of fame member, played for the New York Giants from 1936 to 1943. The duckpin alley closed several years back.

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Little Tavern Design

The first Washington DC Little Tavern, located at 814 E Street, NW, opened its doors in 1928. It appears the site is now the home of a twelve story apartment building and a Bank of Georgetown.

Early Little Taverns seem to have had a design similar to that of 1920s White Castles and White Towers.
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By 1931, the Tudor Cottage Design had been adopted
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In 1937, it was updated with a bit more of a moderne syle
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Typical Plans and detail
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A design from 1949
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And a later, simplified design. What I’ve found on this one points to a date of construction in 1974
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This one was found in Silver Spring, Maryland until relatively recently. When it was torn down, it had been painted yellow and was operating as a Chinese restaurant.

Diner Slides- 1976-1988

Some more from the archives, in no particular order.

Short Stop Diner, now Irene’s pupusas. Wheaton, MD
It’s a 1956 Kullman. The neon was nearly as big as the diner itself, but has since disappeared.

Then:
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Now:
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Diner- Front Royal, VA
It’s a 1956 Mountain View. Front Royal used to be a hotbed of diners. It had this one, Nick’s Good Food diner, the Do-nut dinette, and another ’50s stainless model. The other three have been knocked down, and this one’s now a used car dealer.

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Now:

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Frost Diner- Warrenton, VA
The Frost is a 1955 O’Mahony.

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Inside
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Counter
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A sign of the times- Disco Fashion T-shirts
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Pork Chop- $1.25, Fried Chicken $1.75
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Tastee Diner- Silver Spring, MD

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Tastee Diner- Laurel, MD
a rare Comac brand diner

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Bud’s Broiler – New Orleans, LA
Bud’s Broiler
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Allen Theater
Current Photos
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Flower Theater
Current Photos
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Summit Diner– Somerset, PA
Summit Diner
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Moody’s Diner- Waldoboro, ME
Moody’s Diner
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Diner- MA
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Little Taverns past

I went through some my dad’s slide archives and turned up a few more Little Tavern shots.

Little Tavern- Laurel, MD
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now
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The sign of this one has been rescued and restored.

Little Tavern- Silver Spring, MD
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Little Tavern – Silver Spring, MD
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Little Tavern- Route 1, Alexandria, VA
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As it is now

Little Tavern – Georgetown, Washinton D.C.
that’s him on the right.

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As it is now

White Oak Bowling Lanes

I stopped in here yesterday for a few games. They are celebrating their fiftieth year in business. I’ve been going to these lanes for as long as I can remember.

Duckpin lanes are disappearing all the time. Tuffy Leeman Glenmont Lanes used to be just down the road, but they closed several years back, and I’ve heard reports that the location is now being used to dump garbage.
How To Play

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While there, we had a quick bite to eat at the snack bar, a half smoke, fries and a burger for dad.

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Suburban Trust Bank. Founded in 1951.
Suburban Trust Building – Rockville.

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Entryway mat. The bowling alley is in the basement of the shopping center
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Loitering
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The shopping center’s had many new facades over the years
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For more, see:
Duckpin Bowling @ Boomer Twilight
“Duckpin” – a documentary

DC / MD diner trip – May 24, 2009

This was my first real diner trip in a while. I met up today with Mike Engle, author of Diners of New York; the man behind NYdiners.com, and roadside buff and frequent Zippy the Pinhead contributor Ed Engel at the American City Diner, and headed out from there.

The first stop of the day was the American City Diner of 5532 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC. It’s a late ’80s Kullman, one of the early retro-styled diners, and one of the ones that did it right. For some photos as it appeared when new, click here. Since then, it’s been added on to, with a large side addition, and a front porch which obscures everything to the left of the vestibule.
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The Left side of the diner- 2009
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The left side of the diner – 1989
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The former Howard Theater. Great rusty marquis on this one.
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The now abandoned Wonderbread / Hostess Factory

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Ran into a little excitement along the way between these two stops, but all’s well that ends well.

Northeast Academy of Dance Neon sign. Look at the detail at the left hand corner of the sign.
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We hit up the Capital City Diner, which was moved here on the 20th. Watch the video of it being moved. This Silk City, formerly of Avoca New York, has made its way to the Trinidad neighborhood of Northeast DC.
Photos at its original location and some backstory can be found at :A Real Historic Diner Coming to DC!

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This next leg of the trip had some neat neon and signage

A&R Auto Parts
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Syd’s Drive In / Liquor
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Cross Roads
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Tesst theater
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Hyattsville Hardware / Franklin’s
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Calvert House
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Silver Spring’s old Canada Dry bottling plant
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A quick stop at the Silver Spring Tastee was made.

Now
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Then
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More old photos can be found here.

Then a side trip to Forest Glen, parts of which have deteriorated greatly since my last visit.
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Dinner at the Tastee Diner in Bethesda
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Then
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And the trip’s final stop at Bethesda’s former Little Tavern. A 1990 photo of it, when it was still a Little Tavern, can be found on the Diner Hotline.

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Tastee Diner, Silver Spring, Maryland

This one is the first diner I remember going to, back when I was four or five. When it was moved on July 17, 2000, I was there. I was there when it re-opened at its new location, two blocks away from the old one. Prior to their move, it had that wonderful homey diner feel; small, old. When they moved it, the original factory kitchen was left at the original site, and demolished with the dining room addition, to make way for the new Discovery Channel headquarters. It was cleaned, and re-installed down the road and around the corner with a new dining room addition. A new sign was put up. And the diner feeling that’s so present at the two other Tastees is gone.

Here are some pictures of it, spanning its years.

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’70s night shot

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Old awning with stitched sign and telephone booths

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Front shot

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The diner, a few years later. Different awning, sign on the front and on the sign, different color scheme.

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The diner at its old location and brown color scheme

Today
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The diner, dwarfed by the 2000 additions

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The cleaned exterior and new neon

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The diner is now used as mostly a waiting area for the dining room, and a place for the cash register line to assemble. Most of the booths have been removed to make room for that function.