RESTORING THE FOSTERS SIGN
One of the projects that was happening behind the scenes at the Glass House Collective HQ on North Chamberlain Avenue before the shutdown this Spring was a sign restoration.
When we moved into the building at 2513 North Chamberlain it had most recently been known as the former home to Ray’s Records. But two signs were on the building when we arrived, including a vintage sign in rough shape from the building’s older origins as the Fosters Clothing Store.
Thanks to an unsolicited grant from EFA in January to restore the neon sign as a mini placemaking project, we were able to have the old sign carefully and professionally removed, restored, repainted with new neon installed!
Wendy Brisky with Ortwein Sign was the project manager for the job and she and her team took great care of the fragile sign while lovingly bringing it back to life. Once the sign was in their studio, the restorers had to take it apart and repair each piece. Once the pieces were restored and painted, they created the Fosters logo graphics to apply to the fresh paint as new neon was being made. After the graphics were applied, the neon was attached to the sign and looking like new!
Installation day came during the shutdown, but we happily met the crew at our HQ on a rainy spring morning and that beautiful sign was properly reinstalled in its original location! Of course, we went live on Facebook (with over 4,000 views!) to share and document the moment and received such great comments. We even heard from Henry Foster’s great-nephew, David Jett, and were able to chat with him about the family business.
David told us his great Uncle Henry financed the family business that was run by David’s Grandfather. The Fosters Clothing Store was a simple store without fancy merchandise but had a nice popular selection of clothing to choose from. David said the store had already closed when he was a little boy in the late 60’s, but he knows his mother often spent time there in her childhood.
Interestingly, Uncle Henry was also a community connector in that location, according to David, just like Glass House Collective is today. Henry ran a barbershop and barbers credit union in the small building behind GHC on Appling, David said. “He knew everyone who lived all around North Chamberlain and Glass.”
Glass House Collective is glad to continue that part of the Foster family legacy as we work to shine light in our corner of the world and honor another Glass Farm original.