WHEN I WAS A KID, I could find my father's walls all over Cincinnati. The city still had many large brick warehouses, office buildings, and manufactories, and the owners of those buildings would sell exposed exterior walls to advertisers, who then hired sign painters like my dad to plan and create the massive signs that were his specialty in the 1950s and 1960s. Most of those buildings are gone now, replaced by cement and steel and glass boxes and towers, and most of his signs are gone with them. I have roamed all over the city, looking for his work, and to my knowledge this is his last remaining wall. Sam Caldwell & Co. hired him after he completed a five-year program in painting and sculpture at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Caldwell owned this building at 9th and Court streets, and my father painted its west wall sometime in the 1950s, as best I can tell. The shop closed in the 1960s, shut down by Internal Revenue when Sam got too far behind in his tax obligations. The wall endures.
I took the above photograph of my father standing in front of it about five years ago. Taggers had defaced it, but I don't think he noticed. The sign shows up on the websites of ghost wall chroniclers like Jeff Seuss and VisuaLingual, and makes an appearance in Sign Painters, the excellent documentary film by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon. If Faythe and Sam bring the film to your city, I recommend that you see it.
I have no way of knowing how long the building will remain standing and how long Chuck's last wall will endure. I'm proud every time I drive by it on my visits to my old hometown.