Skip to content
CityLab
Design

The Fight to Save Houston's Overlooked Street Signs

Joey Sanchez thinks the city’s heritage lives well below eye level.
relates to The Fight to Save Houston's Overlooked Street Signs
Joey Sanchez/Blue Tile Project

Joey Sanchez first noticed the blue and white tiles in early 2015, while biking in downtown Houston with his wife. “We’re going through midtown and there are one, two, over twenty street signs on our path,” Sanchez says. “We started to catalogue them.”

Sanchez did some research: it turned out the curb-level tile street signs dated back to the 1920s and ‘30s. But in the intervening ninety-some years, many had fallen into disrepair, their blues and whites dirty and cracked. How many of the street signs still remained? Sanchez wondered. And how many could be saved?