Roselyn Bakery Frankensigns in Indianapolis

Dunkin Donuts Meets Roselyn Bakery

If you’re familiar with Indianapolis, you’ve surely seen these Googie-style signage armatures. If you’re an old-timer, you may remember that Roselyn Bakery had about 40 locations in the area until 1999 [their baked goods are still available in Midwestern supermarkets]. Luckily for us sign lovers, several of the old signs have been creatively repurposed.

Above is the current retro-styled Frankensign for Dunkin Donuts in downtown Indianapolis. Below is the same sign at Washington and Pennsylvania Streets, as it looked in 1998:

old Roselyn Bakery

FYI, I moved to Indy in 2000, soon after all the Roselyn bakery locations had closed. The store above was a Panda Express at the time; I wish I had thought to take a photo of it!

A Flickr search reveals a few of the Frankensigns. Here is Payday Loans at 38th St. and Post Rd.:

old Roselyn Bakery sign

Lee’s Cash & Go on East Washington St.:

old Roselyn Bakery sign

The Most Awkward Award goes to H&R Block at 38th and Ruckle:

old Roselyn Bakery sign

My favorite is the Checkered Flag Tavern on US 40, because it makes the best use of the funky shape:

old Roselyn Bakery sign

Are there any other Roselyn Frankensigns out there? I was reminded of Roselyn after stumbling onto the series Sign Out by Josef Schulz, in which the photographer stripped signs of their lettering and presented them as mere colored forms:

Sign Out by Josef Schulz

Frankensigning happens all the time. Below is the old Bank Cafe at 12th and VineStreets in Over-the-Rhine, as it looked when we first moved to Cincinnati 5 years ago, and then in its recent incarnation as the Q Info Center [soon to become Taste of Belgium]:

Bank Cafe sign at 12th and Vine

A simpler example is downtown Cincinnati’s Algin Office Equipment Co., formerly Elgin. Only one letter needed to be changed:

Algin Office Equipment

Algin Office Equipment


4 thoughts on “Roselyn Bakery Frankensigns in Indianapolis

  1. The American Sign Museum has an original, pole-mounted version of the sign in original condition. The porcelain enamel sign faces are in excellent condition. The sign is currently in storage, awaiting the ceiling height that the museum’s new home will provide. See

  2. Ooh, I’m not surprised that you have one of these signs. I really can’t wait to be able to visit you at the new location, since there are several large signs that aren’t currently on display. I’m especially looking forward to seeing the Johnny’s Big Red Grill sign that I remember from college in Ithaca.

  3. Hilarious! I’ll have to examine signs more closely from now on to see if I can spot any of these “Frankensigns.” Love that name, by the way.

  4. Pingback: Adaptive Reuse Followed by Vacancy? | Preservation in Pink

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