They remind us of an era before gigantic electrical signs, a day where such giant colorful ads were plentiful, and added life to the streets in a way billboards can't. They usually tout brands or names that vanished from common discourse decades ago; their persistence and survival is the result of neglect or disinterest. It’s said that the rain brings them out - after a storm, you can see them a bit more clearly, make out a name. Then the words fade back into the bricks.
This site has been up for a long time. Not all examples are still visible. Most of the photos were taken in the early 00s.
I've revised the site and removed some reader submissions, because I don't know who to credit. They'll be back, along with some New York examples.
JL 05 14 2017