Charlottesville Ghost Sign Mural

Recently, the city of Charlottesville, Va., celebrated the unveiling of a Coca-Cola Ghost Sign Mural. Coke Consolidated Teammates, Friends of Cville Downtown, and community members came together to commemorate the restoration of a 100-year-old mural on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall.  

Prior to the revamp, the Coca-Cola ghost sign was faded, vintage and was disappearing rapidly. The old advertisement had begun fading away, its colors dull, becoming almost ghost-like and washed out.  

The first Coca-Cola wall mural was painted on the side of a drug store in Cartersville, GA in 1894. A Coca-Cola syrup salesman saw the potential of the exterior wall – its length and adjacency to the busy bus depot made it the ideal location for a billboard. The concept caught on and as many as 16,000 wall murals were painted by The Coca-Cola Company and its local bottlers, like Coca-Cola Consolidated. Murals waned in popularity in the 1970s, but in recent years, artists have restored and repainted vintage Coca-Cola murals, giving these “ghost signs” a second life. 

Scott Allred Painting Coca-Cola Ghost Sign

Scott Allred, an artist with Brushcan Custom Murals and Design from Asheville, North Carolina, repainted the mural utilizing a special technique maintaining the vintage character of the sign while enhancing visibility. Over the course of two weeks, the sign was repainted and restored to a better version of itself. 

This project not only revived the sign but also helped create a sense of unity and pride among the community members of Charlottesville. 

“As a local Coca-Cola bottler, Coca- Cola Consolidated is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work,” said Wayne Tyree, Coke Consolidated’s Community Relations Manager for the Charlottesville-area “Restoring this mural is a nod to Charlottesville and Coca-Cola’s past but also represents a shared vision for a vibrant downtown for our customers and consumers.” 

Learn more about Coke Consolidated community engagement efforts here.  

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