Effort to buy, preserve, and re-display the South End Tavern signs

South End Tavern signs

The signs back in 2010, when the tavern was still open.

Sometimes a building or sign is in the same place for so long that it starts to feel like a part of the landscape, like it was always there.

It's probably fair to say the signs for the former South End Tavern in Troy are like that for South Troy. And now the landscape is changing because the signs came down today. [@willwaldron]

The Rensselaer County Historical Society is raising $8,500 to purchase the signs after historian Kathryn Sheehan noticed they were for sale as a part of a liquidation sale at the property. It's collecting donations at that link.

As you'd expect, RCHS wants to keep the signs in Troy. (We hear from RCHS that apparently there was some interest from a buyer in Schenectady.) The org also wants to use the money to clean, restore, and display the signs.

The South End Tavern first opened in 1934 and was operated by the Burke family. The explanation for the "Ladies Entrance" sign from the tavern's website:

In the 1930s, a bar was considered to be "men's territory." Since Marty wanted to be able to accommodate female customers, he bought the building next door and converted it into a restaurant. To separate the bar from the restaurant, he put up the now-famous Ladies Entrance sign. Marty passed away in 1956. His son, Marty (Bud), continued running the business as his father had done. Things ran much the same for many years until Women's Lib hit the tavern in the early 1970s. Bud was ordered to remove the Ladies Entrance sign and to allow women to be served at the bar. However, the Troy City Council stepped in; they passed a resolution declaring the South End Tavern an historical site. This let him keep the controversial sign, but women were now permitted in the bar as well as in the restaurant.

The tavern closed in closed 2013, the owner citing rising taxes and costs. [Troy Record]

Earlier on AOA: A bunch of years ago Jess took a few moments to admire some of the old-school signs around the Capital Region, including the South End Tavern signs.

Comments

There is (or was) the rusted out remnant of a FAMILY ENTRANCE sign over an alley next to a building on Lake Ave near Central. The tradition is an old one

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