The National Trust of Historic Preservation over in the USA features an article on their site discussing the debate over the preservation of Ghost Signs. This is particularly focussed on the question of whether there is a need to restore or repaint the signs to bring them some way back to their original form. Nothing is resolved here but one of the closing comments is:
“There is something to be said for keeping those that remain in a state of arrested decay.”
It is interesting that this elicits a more serious debate in USA than here in the UK. Whereas our National Trust shows little or no interest in the rare and fading signs it is clearly an issue that features on the agenda of the equivalent body stateside. One explanation for this is that Ghost Signs are relatively more ‘historical’ in the USA whereas they aren’t particularly old compared to some of the concerns of the UK National Trust.
Most interesting in the article is some discussion of the working conditions of the sign writers or ‘wall dogs’ who often had to work in the rain or extreme temparatures. Also there is some sense of scale given, with one company handling 17,000 barns’ painted advertising requirements. There are also some prices quoted with the lowest at $15 per month.
Anyway, have a read an then contribute to the debate this has sparked on Flickr.