Yelp's Totally Bazaar at the American Sign Museum

The holiday season of 2010 has taken shop local to a new level for Cincinnati. There have been numerous event throughout downtown, OTR and the surrounding community nearly ever weekend since Thanksgiving. These events in OTR as well as Clifton hosting Crafty Supermarket all help embrace the shop local spirit and Saturday saw Yelp's Totally Bazaar event take over of the American Sign Museum to bring even more people out to meet all our favorite local shops and businesses.

The man behind all this was OTR's very own Alex Shebar, and he did a killer job of pulling this all together. There was a huge turn out and it was a lot of fun for everyone there, and hopefully beneficial for everyone involved.

The biggest exposure of the night was for the American Sign Museum, which was kind enough to host the event. They have a beautiful and extensive collection of American signs, sign making equipment, and just about everything else you could imagine that relates to signs and their impact on American culture.

The museum opened in the spring of 2005 and their collection of 3,800 cataloged objects quickly outgrew the current location in Walnut Hills. They are in the process of funding a move to a new building they have purchased in Camp Washington, which will eventually provide them with a total of 42,000 sq. ft. of floorspace to permanently house their collection. They own about half the space already and are in the process of funding the final phases of the build-out and relocation.

Something that struck me about the museum is that it's a bit off the beaten path. It seems unlikely you'd find it unless you're specifically looking for it. Their new location is very much the same in terms of location. Perhaps a nicer spot, more space, but it's still in a rather low visibility location.

Something Erica and I felt, and also something that I discussed with 5chw4r7z, is that this place would really thrive if it were located downtown, specifically in Over-The-Rhine. It's an incredible space, both due to the collection of interesting objects, but also because of the atmosphere all these signs create. Imagine a space like this being in OTR and being part of Final Friday or Second Sunday. I also think the museum would get a lot more exposure if it were in a higher traffic area. The OTR tours draw hundreds of people every weekend and a museum such as the American Sign Museum would benefit greatly from that, especially since the tour guys are so great a plugging all the merchants, restaurants and happenings OTR has to offer. There are tons of open spots in OTR, of varying size, and I'd think 3CDC would jump at the chance to bring such an attraction into our growing neighborhood.

I realize this may not ever happen, since the museum is already vested in their new location, but it's an idea I had to put out there.

If you've not checked out the museum it's definitely worth a trip. Visit their site for details and hours.

American Sign Museum Website:

the Yelp Totally Bazaar event page:


5chw4r7z said...

Somehow I doubt the museum gets many impulse tourist through the doors, everyone there meant to go there. In OTR, I can't imagine how many people not knowing it was there would end up checking it out.
The move has been planned forever I think, probably before OTR began its revival.
Location is everything.

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