Friday, May 7, 2010

Downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin

Returning from my recent Wisconsin jaunt, I stopped in downtown La Crosse. Here are a few fun and funky sights around town.

Old tile mosaic of a tree. Words say Arenz all leather shoes, Qualit to the roots
La Crosse has plenty of classic commercial buildings and the signs to go with them. This notable mosaic now graces the doorstep of Pearl Street Books.

Wiggerts Parts Center sign. The right side of the P in Parts has been scratched off so it looks like an F
The Wiggert's logo is a fun example of naive lettering. Nobody else's logo looks like that! (Although some naughty person has been busy scratching out parts of letters, to rude effect.)

Historic Piggy's Restaurant sign
Unfortunately, Piggy's "historic" restaurant doesn't have one of the classic signs. Its home in the Pioneer Foundry Building is clearly historic -- the 1871 structure is the place where parts were made for the paddle wheelers that plied the Mississippi. The sign, however, is a complete disaster -- not just because it uses Papyrus, but because of the enlarged P, the vertically arranged word "historic," the random fading blocks, and the extra little touch of a pig's tail for an apostrophe. Less is more, Piggy's, less is more.

Full-size van with lettering advertising a business called Trim Design Signs & Lettering. Super ugly!
Perhaps this sign business is the source of the Piggy's sign?

Tanned blonde Barbie doll emerges waste up from a frosting-covered white skirt
A corner bakery window was graced with this Barbie-as-wedding-cake. I thought it was pretty funny (especially the use of a Malibu Barbie who really should give the tanning salon a break), but my daughter informed me that Barbie cakes are common. I guess she's right.

Plus, La Crosse is lucky enough to have a full-service food co-op, People's Food Co-op, right next to the farmers market.

1 comment:

Anne George said...

Growing up, I spent a lot of time in LaX. I know those signs, and agree with your comments. I hope the beautiful tile work can remain, even with the shoe store closed.
Also,I love the People's Co-op and think it's better than any I shop at in the Twin Cities. Though I may be biased as I volunteered there in it's first location, about 30 years ago now.