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Art Project: Wacky But True Historical Markers

by ARLnow.com October 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm 7,682 25 Comments

A failed restaurant. An impressive drain pipe. A popular home renovation.

These are some of the humorous and true observations of extremely local history that artist Timothy Thompson has turned in to a series of historical markers in and around the Arlington Arts Center (3550 Wilson Blvd) in Virginia Square.

Thompson’s historical markers are part of the Arlington Arts Center’s 2012 Fall Solos exhibition, which opened on Oct. 3 and features works by seven regional artists. The exhibit is set to hold its opening reception on Saturday (Oct. 20) from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Four of Thompson’s markers are located inside the gallery. Two are within two blocks of the center on N. Lincoln Street. Another is adjacent to the center along Wilson Boulevard.

Thompson will be leading a walking tour of his historical markers from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. The Fall Solos exhibit will be in place through Dec. 23.

  • drax

    Funny stuff, and perfect for us!

  • JohnB

    That’s hilarious.

  • QP Doll

    I saw that marker when I was out running a couple of weeks ago, and I wondered who had done it. Quirky idea – I like it.

  • Herman

    The irony is there’s a Dan Kain sticker on the bottom of all those plaques.

  • novasteve

    Will he do a marker at the County Board Building to commemorate the Street Car vote?

  • novasteve

    Here on July 27, 2011, someone driving an automatic transmission motor vehicle flipped her car.

    • drax

      Here, novasteve promised to move out of Arlington because of Wifi in taxicabs.

    • Mick

      Here, Oct. 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm, novasteve hit a home run to the chagrin of many, the delight of few, and the jealousy of one poster.

  • SomeGuy

    I would like to see these placed at the sites of car flippings.

    • CW

      “Here flipped a Lexus SUV with an automatic transmission.”

      • snicker

        because they were on the phone….

        • SomeGuy

          “…getting directions home to Maryland.”

          • snicker


          • Right of Center


  • David

    These signs are great!

  • I just noticed the failed restaurant one today when I walked over to pick up the dry cleaning. I’ve lived at Virginia Square 14 years now, and can’t remember a cigar/sushi bar ever being at the empty lot (unless it was the restaurant Haze, which never opened).

    The county acquired the land a year or two back, and demolished the dilapidated townhouse that stood at that site.

    • cynthiabigc

      Actually, that building was awesome.. too bad that it became dilapidated. It was originally (1940s) an ice cream shop on the first floor and the family lived on the 2nd floor. The building was really nice and it’s a shame the County bought and tore it down. It was truly a marker of a different day showing the size we were just 50 years ago. It could have been renovated beautifully.

  • Klahnzie

    On the corner of Wilson and N. Irving: Successful Restaurant – On This Lot Stood The Nation’s Only Prosperous Restaurant That Was Never Open.

  • Plain Ordinary Observer

    These signs are not art, but instead are nonsense.

  • Mike

    The exhibit should be sponsored by The Onion!

  • RosRes

    Awesome! I love this.

  • Marc
  • me

    Sounds like a place Bill Clinton would have liked.

  • It really was an old coin store years ago.

  • cynthiabigc

    What about future failed restaurants like the one that is opening in Ballston called LEEK: Am American Bistro.

    “We’re going to Leeks, now, anyone want to come?” ???


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