Ghost sign uncovered during 4th Ave demolition

Historic sign to be preserved on fourth ave in Tucson

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A piece of Tucson’s history has been trapped between bricks for decades.

"We saw this sign that was based in 1923.” Steven Rose has co-owned Del Sol for years, never knowing what was right around the corner. Until the Flycatcher came down in July and exposed a snapshot into the past.

"The woman, Mrs. Hill, owned it. She had owned a chain of photography studios in Oklahoma and Kansas and she married Mr. Hill and they moved here and opened up this place.” explained Rose.

The sign has survived nearly 100 years, but is clearly in need of some TLC. That’s where Jude Cook of Cook and Company Sign Makers comes in.

"It might be a matter of actually restoring or re-stuccoing, re-doing it, and matching it to get something that looks good and will hold.” said Cook.

The two men , along with the Historic 4th Ave Coalition are hoping to get it back in picture perfect condition, even with the new Union on 6th building going up next door. But it's going to take some work.

"This is a little dicey. The wall itself is real crumbly and the paint is in questionable shape and the stucco itself is really soft.” said Cook as he measured and observed the sign Thursday.

Leigh-Anne Harrison with Chasse Building Team said that the new Union building wall will come very close to the side of Del Sol, but that there will be a small walkway in between, which is enough for Steven and Jude who want to keep moving forward, however, the two still need to obtain funding for the project, which means nothing is in the works just yet. But if things do, Cook said they could go pretty quickly.

"You could probably actually re-letter it in less than a day.” said Cook.

So even though the sign might not be fully on display, that doesn’t mean the history on this street corner will be lost.

"We want to maintain the historical element and different pieces of the memories of the project or the Flycatcher. We want to make sure they are remembered and alive and that the legacy lives on.”said Harrison.

Another way the developers are preserving this area is putting pieces of art from the Flycatcher into a wallpaper that will be hung in the lobby.

Source: (KOLD)
Source: (KOLD)

Pictured above are posters and song books salvaged from the Flycatcher that an interior designer is using for wallpaper.

Union on 6th is set to be done by May of 2021.

During the construction of Union on 6th, the developers want your help to make it easier on the eyes.

On Sunday August 18th, grab your paint brushes and head to 4th ave for what they're calling "paintstock."

It's free and you will be able to paint on the panels that line the fence of the construction site.

The event goes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Source: (KOLD)
Source: (KOLD)

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