The Fascination of Faded Ads

Midtown Manhattan

WHAT IS IT ABOUT those barely-there painted billboards of yesteryear you occasionally spot — often, perhaps, spot if you are purposefully looking for them — clinging to the sides of old buildings like ghosts of another era?


That’s just it, I guess, the fascination: their ability to persist through the radical changes in the built environment around them, as well as their bold size. They’re hangers-on from a day when the most exciting way to advertise soda and zippers and other then-novel products was to emblazon them fifty feet high on a brick wall.

New York City

Frank Jump is one of those who purposely looks. A blogger and author of The Fading Ads of New York City, published last November by the History Press, he is speaking tonight (Wednesday, February 15, 2012) at 7PM at the Brooklyn Historical Society, and no doubt, showing examples from his long-running photographic project documenting vintage murals on building facades, many of which have been covered up or otherwise destroyed since he captured them.


Tickets are $10, $8 for BHS members. For more info, go here.

Photos: Frank Jump, 1997-8

About cara

I blog (for fun) here at casaCARA, and write (for money) about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites.
This entry was posted in BROOKLYN, HISTORIC PRESERVATION, MANHATTAN and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Fascination of Faded Ads

  1. Cara- Thanks for featuring me on your blog! Looking forward to meeting you this evening if you can come!

    Frank Jump,
    Author of Fading Ads of NYC

  2. Terry says:

    I not a billboard hater. I just saw some “then and now” photos of our little neighborhood center. It’s all done up these days, a popular place to hang out: “drive-to” urbanism. The old picture showed has billboards on the roof. I prefer the billboard look: Without looks “designer” with looks real.

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