Detroit Commercial Archeology

MultiColor Motown – Focus on Blue

Blue is not the most common color in Detroit architecture – it competes with the sky and is hard to see at night – but it’s a constant in the landscape.  Spray Services is a current business that supplies paint equipment for auto repair. Sam’s Auto Parts’ sign still stands on 8 Mile, and OK […]

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MultiColor Motown – Focus on Red

Detroit’s transportation arteries are bright red. Streetscape architecture needs a gimmick to attract the fleeting attention of passing motorists.  In this instalment of Multicolor Motown I’ve gathered examples of the use of red in advertising and landscape. What few examples of red neon signage still found in Detroit stand boldly against the elements. Kowalski “Kowality” […]

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Multicolor Motown – Focus on Yellow

The progression of Detroit’s commercial archeology is linear. One-story buildings have replaced others demolished to accommodate widened transportation routes now striped in yellow. These wide corridors service manufacturing, retail, and Downtown Detroit. To attract the attention of passing motorists, retail buildings are painted in yellow striping paint. It is durable and hard to miss. The […]

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Detroit’s Definitive Color Photography Book – Talking Shops!

Talking Shops: Detroit Commercial Folk Art is now available in paperback from Amazon and Wayne State University Press.   Photographer David Clements captures a gloriously funky array of Detroit’s urban folk art”…Detroit Free Press.  I have selected 10 images from the 135 photo publication for review. All photos are ephemera. Painted to attract business, warn off […]

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