I was walking west on Howard St. Lost in thought, I wondered “where am I?” I looked up and saw “Winchesown”
Well, I think I saw Winchester..
“Winchester? when did Winchester have an honorary name?” They do happen on residential blocks, but those usually honor people. It seemed weird since it obviously had some sort of “Town” designation.
This was also the old style of type. Now, these honorary signs have a different font than the official street signs.
I quickly sent a text to an old friend who had lived on Winchester for many years. He could not recall it ever being called anything but Winchester.
I made a note in my book to research it and started to walk again.
THEN I turned around and looked at the back; side-eyeing myself for breaking a primary rule of artifact research.
ALWAYS examine your whole artifact! Turn it over, really look at the whole thing before you close off your thinking about what is actually is!
I had assumed this sign was always a Winchester sign. Now I am very sure Chicago Department of Transportation reuses signs!
When I was raising my children in Albany Park, Lawrence Ave. had honorary signage identifying the street as Korea Town. The six-block stretch had a heavy Korean influence. Mostly gone from Albany Park now, places like H Mart thrive in the suburbs. The culturally deaf sound of “Korea Town” always made me bristle a bit. Lawrence Ave. might be “Little Seoul” now. Next time I visit, I’ll check.
I’m very happy to see the city reusing these signs. It makes sense financially and it keeps metal out of recycling and landfills. It’s the best of both worlds when tax dollars and resources get used as efficiently as possible.
I am also glad to be reminded that I should look at things from many angles before I draw any conclusions, too.