I just backed this project on Kickstarter and think you should too. Vernaculartypography.com is a source of endless inspiration and does valuable work in documenting and preserving great examples of regional typography & signage.
The project (and overall cause) reminded me of this story Aaron Draplin tells about an old sign he bought on Ebay and its horrific replacement.
Aaron’s right. Nothing depresses me more than seeing shoddy replacements for classic American signage. I recently heard we could have lost the neon signs at The Bluebonnet Cafe (site redesign coming soon) due to a proposed city ordinance in my hometown.
Thankfully, the city council seems able to recognize the historic nature of the signage and has taken a sensible, negotiable position on things. I grew up visiting the Blue Bonnet for pie happy hour, and that sign is part of what makes summers on Lake LBJ so memorable. Heck, I’d argue it’s the coolest thing in the entire city.