Rosco Discount Stores Ghost Sign in Over-the-Rhine

Rosco Discount Stores Ghost Sign in Over-the-Rhine

The corner of Vine and 15th Sts. in Over-the-Rhine is the former site of Rosco Discount Stores. The ghost signs are surprisingly still vivid.

Rosco Discount Stores Ghost Sign in Over-the-Rhine

Rosco Discount Stores Ghost Sign in Over-the-Rhine

The painted doors, windows and flowerboxes are part of Future Blooms, a project by Keep Cincinnati Beautiful. Below is what the facade looked like before the candy-colored embellishments were added last year:

Rosco Discount Stores Ghost Sign in Over-the-Rhine


9 thoughts on “Rosco Discount Stores Ghost Sign in Over-the-Rhine

  1. Wow, that mosaic sign is beautiful! Where is that?

    Keep Cincinnati Beautiful is an interesting initiative. The key part, which is not all that visible, is that the buildings are secured. The part that is visible is the painted stuff that seems a bit misguided to me. I think these candy colored interventions just draw attention to the many abandoned buildings.

  2. The sign is down in old “Linwood” at the corner of Linwood Ave and Eastern Ave. On the “Linwood Masonic Temple” building.

    OK HOLD ON A MINUTE. Sorry for shouting. I just went to Google Streetview to give you an exact ID, and it tells a completely different story!

    1) Click the “yellow faces” icon on the map. From the bubble click “More -> Street View”
    2) Scroll around until you see the building with “Ray’s Barber Shop” on the window.

    This confuses the crap out of me! In street view, the building not only has evidence of an old barber shop, but it is missing the mosaic entirely! This picture on street view can’t be more than a couple years old, it’s hard to tell. And look at the building! It has been painted up and looks drastically different from when the Street View picture was taken.

    So apparently the building is being renovated for a new business? Man I was completely wrong. I naively assumed that the Sonada Cigars was from an old smoke shop or something. It is missing tile AND there was an early 1900s “Sonada Cigars” business man who lived in the area. But other than that I couldn’t find any solid references to Sonada Cigars outside a few brief mentions on cigar sites. You can see the rest of my brief historical background check here: (link to my blog post)

    So the question remains.
    1) Where did the Sonada Cigars mosaic come from? It has to be original, but from where?
    2) Why did someone move it TO the building as part of the renovation? It fits perfectly in that little cubby, too. Was it originally meant to be that size (taken from another building) or did they cut the bottom off (notice: no blue border on the bottom)???

    Hope you don’t mind me expanding my thoughts here. This is intriguing to say the least.

  3. I found the building on Cincinnati Memories. Can’t tell what used to be there, or what year, though.

    It’s been renovated since at least Aug 2010:

    Ahh. Backtracking by searching for the Linwood Masonic Lodge reveals: It used to be a valid domain but is gone now. It had some history of the building @

    I’m guessing that the masonic lodge is no longer the owner of the building. That would explain the website being down as well as adding the possibility of a new owner. They probably sold in 2009/early 2010 to a private owner who is now re-purposing the building. The new owner added a bit of charm with that Sonada Cigar artwork.

  4. Wow, this has made my day! It’s truly a micro-controversy of epic proportions. I think you should track down the current owner to find out exactly what’s going on here. Maybe this is a descendant of the founder of the cigar company?

  5. Pingback: Chris Glass » OTR 5K / Summer Celebration

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