EDIT: Neither the Merita Bread nor Ice Cold Auto Air signs were on the landmark sign registry.
Porter Paints opened on the corner of Summerlin and Colonial Drive in 1956 and when they did so, they added a unique porcelain enamel-faced tiled pillar to the front of their shop.
PPG Paints took over the shop in 2016 and proposed removing the sign before ultimately choosing to keep it as part of the structure. Which is good, because they closed a year or two later.
That sign, measuring in at 21-feet and four-inches tall, was given a landmark sign designation in 1995 due to its interesting materials, design, and age. That designation is really meant as a way to protect the new building owner from code enforcement as many signs that pre-date 1965 would never be allowed to go up nowadays as they are often too large.
To have a property added to or removed from the register, the property owner must simply send in a letter to the Historic Preservation office. There is no fee or permit associated with either action.
The register affords no actual protection to the signs on the list.
As there are no protections at the civic level for these signs, it should come as no surprise that there are only two signs remaining on the register that predate the 1965 cut-off date to be included; the rotating Plaza Live sign and the College Park Publix sign.
Signs that were once on the list but have since been removed include the Baldwin-Fairchild sign in Ivanhoe Village,
Merita Bread, Ice Cold Auto Air in Colonialtown, and the “Christ is Savior, God is Love” sign from the Orlando Union Rescue Mission building.
Domino’s Pizza, the new tenants of the Porter Paints building, has renovated the entire structure and recently finished wrapping the sign in order to make it more in line with their corporate branded architecture guidelines. A spokesperson from the property told Bungalower that rather than remove it entirely, they’ve simply tucked it away and covered up the Porter Paints verbiage to avoid any confusion with their guests in the hopes that a future tenant could reveal it at a later date.
Domino’s is working on a possible public art contest that would incorporate the wrap but couldn’t give us any more information at this point in time – as they awaited corporate approvals. We will post that information if and when it is made public.
Editor’s Note: Curious about other local historic signs? Click HERE to see our tour of the Morse Museum sign collection in Winter Park.