The ‘ghost signs’ of Seattle 👻

The ‘ghost signs’ of Seattle 👻

The Baker Linen Building in Capitol Hill has one of the coolest, sneakiest “ghost signs” in the city.
(📸: Mónica Guzmán)


“Ghost signs” are old painted signs that stay up on old buildings long after the businesses they describe are gone — and reader Andrea Leksen thinks they’re pretty neat.

Andrea is a type designer and a design professor at Cornish College of the Arts who finds a lot of inspiration in the typefaces around our city. The first font she ever sold, in fact, was based on the inscription on an old building in SoDo.

Last month, Andrea took her typography class on a walk to check out interesting type around Capitol Hill. On the way, she pointed out a few ghost signs to her students.

“When you look up,” she said, “you start seeing a lot of history.”

Next time you’re out in Capitol Hill, keep your eyes peeled for these…

» The H.W. Baker Linen Co. sign (pictured above). It’s on the side of the 106-year-old Baker Linen Building at 1101 E. Pike St. and it’s one of Andrea’s favorites. “You can still make out a lot of detail,” she said. The linen company was there from 1953 to 1983.

» The Hartford Glass Company sign. It’s at 911 E. Pike St., on the side of a tall building that dates back to 1908.

» The backwards Oldsmobile logo sign. That’s the best way Andrea and her students could describe the mysterious ghost sign on 12th Avenue across from Pacific Supply Company. The area used to be full of auto showrooms in the 1920s.

» The J.W. Service Station sign. That might not be exactly what the sign on 11th Avenue near Pike Street says, but hey — faded signs are hard to read. This one’s also partly covered with street art.

Seen any other ghost signs around your city? Grab a pic and tag us with #theevergrey.

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There’s a mayor who drives an Uber. His name is David Baker and he’s the mayor of Kenmore, a city of 22,000 people just to our north. Most mornings — from about 4 a.m. to 11 a.m. — he gives rides to locals in his Prius. “It gives me a pretty rounded idea of what the public is thinking,” he said. Wow. 🚗 (Crosscut)

‘This is where the real fight is.’ People in Burien wrote “love letters” to their immigrant neighbors this week. The reason? Burien just passed a law that keeps city staff from asking people about their immigration status, and a group called Respect Washington wasn’t a fan. Its founder sent around a flier last week that published the names and addresses of alleged illegal immigrants. The backlash — as you can imagine — was big. “It is up to us to show the people who are behind this hatred that they are not welcome here,” said Kerri Gibbard Kline, one of several people who hosted letter writing parties in their homes. (KUOW)

It’s trendy to hate on Seattle. People running for office nearby are promising to work real hard to make sure their cities don’t become like ours. Our traffic, proposed business taxes, and talk about giving people who use drugs safe places to inject are giving candidates in Mukilteo (up north) and Burien (down south) all kinds of fodder for their mailers. “If Seattle is such a hellhole,” columnist Danny Westneat asks, “why are so many people and businesses flocking here?” (The Seattle Times)

One year later. The anniversary of the 2016 election is just a week away, and people are taking a step back to look at our country, our national identity, and how we are and are not connecting. Whatever your political leanings, it’s a little overwhelming. “America has been in the throes of increasing internal conflict,” writes Marcus Green, who edited a new book called Fly to the Assemblies! The book’s got essays all about how Seattle responded to last year’s election, including a piece about The Evergrey’s trip in March to Sherman County, Oregon. Our own Mónica Guzmán will join Marcus and others to do a live reading from the book and lead what should be a fascinating chat at Rainier Arts Center. Come join us. 🇺🇸 (Seattle Weekly)


Things to do


🇺🇲 11/7: Crosscut Election Night Party!
⚖ 11/8: We the Public
🎉 11/29: The Evergrey Turns One!

Want to partner on an event with us? Hit reply or email [email protected].


🇲🇽 11/2: Día de los Muertos at Centro de la Raza
⛰ 11/2: Reel Rock 12
🍺 11/3: Brew Seattle
🎶 11/3: Playback Afterhours
🎨 11/4: Short Run Comix & Arts Festival
🛍 11/4: Scandinavian Holiday Bazaar
🌳 11/4: Green Seattle Day
🐟 11/5: Piper Creek’s Annual Salmon Watching
🏮 11/5: Tinkergarten Fall Lantern Walk

See more upcoming events (and submit your own) on our events page


November’s the rainiest month of our year, but it can also be the most delicious. Seattle Met’s rounded up this handy list of eight awesome Northwest cookbooks, ‘cause hey — a great way to forget about the storm outside is to cook up a storm in your kitchen. 🌩

Enjoy the day, all. — The Evergrey

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