For some background on why we’re sharing these photos of the Beer Depot sign, you might want to start here. But if there’s any question in one’s mind about whether or not the legendary Beer Depot sign is a landmark of historic interest, one only has to do a quick Google Image Search for “Ann Arbor Beer Depot”. You’ll not only find dozens of photos taken by people from all over the world (we’ve received feedback from Oregon, Texas, the UK, and Russia, for example), but you’ll also find a number of unauthorized uses of the sign for products ranging from iPad skins to drink coasters. We haven’t contacted those novelty product creators yet, but we did contact a number of individuals around the web to seek permission to share their photos. We’re still waiting to hear from a few people; if you have a photo to share, feel free to contact us and we’ll add it. The latest roundup of images is below.
On the whole, the folks who have so far given permission to use their photos were sympathetic regarding the loss of the sign, but we want to stress that their permission to use a photo is in no way a “position statement” of any kind, beyond an acknowledgment that the sign is a visually interesting example of an era in American design and signage. If you look closely at the photos – especially the daytime photos – you’ll notice that in spite of looking rather weathered on a cosmetic level, the sign was still in quite decent shape structurally, except for some warping of the face panels. The day the sign blew down was remarkably windy; this was during the three days in April 2011 that spawned a record 179 tornadoes nationwide. Three days of weather notable enough that it even has a Wikipedia page. We point this out because we’ve received some feedback implying that the sign was so decrepit that it just “fell over”. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We’ll be adding more images as we receive permission, so as we said feel free to contact us if you have one yourself to share. Images below.