CRESTVIEW — Stucco chipping off a Main Street business' original brick north wall has revealed a hand-painted Coca-Cola advertisement that may date back to the 1920s.
The one-story building at 337 N. Main St., which houses Granny's Attic, is typical of the historic district's early-20th-century architecture.
The building housed Gertrude Martin Ellis's Artistic Beauty Shop for more than 50 years, according to Ann Spann, the city's Historic Preservation Board chairman. During renovation, its brick walls were covered in stucco, which often is less expensive than repointing bricks. In this case, the stucco sealed in and protected the Coke ad for decades.
Granny's Attic owner Lorine Johnson, who rents the building from owners Kathleen Bowman and her son, Phil, said she had no idea what lay beneath the stucco.
"Well, I was surprised," she said.
When some of the stucco chipped off in a recent downpour, Main Street attorney Nathan Boyles was the first to notice part of a Coke sign being revealed and notified the owner.
"I said, 'Hey Phil, I think there's an old Coke sign under the plaster on your wall,'" Boyles said.
"I didn't know it was under there," Bowman said. "I'm going to talk to the city about historic preservation."
He and his mother want to remove the stucco and restore the sign, he said. They are applying for a Community Redevelopment Agency façade improvement grant to help fund the process.
Bowman was surprised by the sign's good condition, crediting it to a combination of the protective stucco and the quality of paint used in early Coca-Cola signs.
"That was real good paint," he said.
Boyles, a champion of downtown restoration, praised the Bowmans' intent to restore the old sign.
"It is authentic, it is original, it adds to the authenticity of downtown," he said. "That Coke sign would've been painted many, many years ago. It could be 1920s."