Historic Echo Park
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Darrell Urbien

Reading the news item recently posted about signs in EP got me thinking...


Does anyone know the history of the "object" signs on Temple (I believe that's Crown Hill?) close to Our Lady of Loretto? There's one that looks like a saw, one that's a giraffe, etc. I think most of them have been painted over, so you really don't know what the original store was. What was the significance of the giraffe, for example? Were they all neon at one point?



The liquor store there used to be called "Big Top Liquor." I always assumed the signs went with the circus theme. The local gang named themselves after this store as well-Big Top Locos.

Darrell Urbien

Aw, the Giraffe is no more!

Darrell Urbien

Oops, sorry, it's still there. Don't know what's happening to that building, though, it's been vacant forever.


Big Top Liqour was a local store that served the immediate community. It was owned by the Joya Family. Vince, with the help of his sons Raymond, Gerry, and Eddie. I worked with the family from 1988 to 1991. By that time the gang had already adopted their name from the marquee of the store. It continues today unfortunately. Do you remember Dave (I-mean-ah I-mean-ah) Chavez who hung around the store and uttering I-mean-ah I-mean-ah guy? Reply if you remember?  


thats still big top locos hood

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