Coca Cola . Quakertown Trolley Barn . South Elevation . Quakertown . Watercolor . 9" x 12"
... a "Coca Cola" advertisement has been painted on the south brick wall of the former Quakertown Traction Company (QTC) Trolley Barn and Power House, for as long as I can remember. This trolley maintenance barn and power generating station was constructed in 1897, with some evidence that Lansdale architect, Milton Bean had a hand in it. The Lehigh Valley Transit Co. (LVT) absorbed the QTC in the early 1900's... and the structure was abandoned to the commercial and retail markets about thirty years later. The Coca Cola Company was founded in the late 1880's and I don't know when this hand painted advertisement was created... but it has been fading slowly toward eventual oblivion over these many years. I've taken photographs of it in the past and decided to paint it before it's completely gone. The ad is oriented to catch the attention of riders, on northbound Reading Railroad (RDG) passenger trains, when that service existed between Philadelphia and Bethlehem. This quick sketch/ view is a mix of existing conditions and what is intended as a non-specific, sparse imagining of building and landscape, as it appeared and was laid out at the time the south rail yard was pulled up. The barn came under new ownership again in 2017 and is being redeveloped as a public market hub. I hope this collection of "Coke" slogans will be stabilized and preserved as an example of early Twentieth Century, American Advertising.