A gallery of classic signs spotted throughout the Hudson Valley, some abandoned, some very much still in use, with photographs by Tom Rinaldi and Rob Yasinsac.  

“The cultural significance of signs combined with their often transitory nature makes the preservation of historic signs fraught with questions, problems, and paradoxes.”

Michael J. Auer, “The Preservation of Historic Signs”

Signs hang somewhere between monument and ephemera, between architectural design and graphic design.  Though they are often a building’s most distinctive and recognized feature, they are generally not considered part of an architectural composition.  Often overlooked by preservationists, signs are in the rather hapless position of being especially vulnerable to disappearance, despite being particularly interesting from a design perspective.   

For years I photographed historic buildings that seemed poised to disappear, taking old signs somewhat for granted.  But as more of the Hudson Valley’s quirky old signs continued to disappear, I gradually began to photograph signs as well architecture.  Shooting signs has since become one of my favorite pastimes. 

In recent years, actual sign museums have opened in various parts of the country.  Until such a museum opens in the New York area, this collection of photographs will have to suffice.


Las Vegas Neon Museum

Museum of Neon Art

American Sign Museum in Cincinnati

"The Preservation of Historic Signs," by Michael J. Auer

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© T.E. Rinaldi, 2007