Last updated on September 22nd, 2014 at 08:42 pm
Not long after Coca-Cola was invented in 1886, the company hired sign painters to extol the virtues of the new beverage on the sides of buildings across the country. Thousands of iconic Coca-Cola wall murals became prominent features in cities and towns, particularly in the rural South.
Thousands of these iconic advertisements remain today, but many have faded and are barely recognizable. But Coca-Cola Consolidated has joined a movement in many communities to revitalize downtowns, and the restoration of these “ghost signs” has become a part of the rebirth of small town America.
“Coca-Cola has been a part of the fabric of American life for more than 128 years,” said Lauren C. Steele, SVP of Coca-Cola Consolidated. “Long before the world-famous Times Square Coca-Cola sign was built, thousands of wall murals were painted in small towns and cities across the country. At Coca-Cola Consolidated, we have been identifying and refurbishing those signs over the past few years in partnership with community efforts to revitalize downtowns in our franchise territory.”
Earlier this month, Coca-Cola Consolidated hosted three community celebrations to unveil newly refurbished historic Coca-Cola wall murals in Rocky Mount, Va., and in Ronceverte and Hinton, W.Va.
“These iconic Coca-Cola wall murals are clearly part of our history,” Steele said. “But, more importantly, they are part of the history of each of these towns as well. We have been part of these communities for more than 100 years, and we are thrilled be to be able to support these downtown revitalization efforts.”
In addition to the Virginia and West Virginia ghost sign restorations, Coca-Cola Consolidated has repainted iconic Coca-Cola wall murals in Concord, N.C., Hendersonville, N.C., Roanoke, Va., Salisbury, N.C., North Wilkesboro, N.C., and Mebane, N.C., among others, and has plans to repaint many more.
Charlotte-based Coca-Cola Consolidated is the nation’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler with franchise territories in 11 southeastern states.