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These articles were excerpted from Tapestry, a weekly newsletter that examines the arts and entertainment world in Charlotte and North Carolina.

'Signs of Home' showcased in new Charlotte Museum of History exhibit

Years ago, anyone driving back home to Charlotte knew they’d officially arrived when they saw the JFG Coffee sign. Since 1964, the iconic sign was right off the John Belk Freeway and as much of a landmark for the Queen City as the Duke Energy Building is now.

It came down in 2009 and much of Charlotte mourned.

“And you hear that about a lot of these different signs,” said Adria Focht, president and CEO of Charlotte Museum of History. “It's like, ‘Oh, that was how I knew this was home. This was school.’

“It’s placemaking, right? And that's a big part of historic preservation and why we do it, why we advocate for historic preservation. Obviously, businesses come and go, but some of the businesses that we're highlighting were really cultural cornerstones or, you know, community cornerstones for Charlotte.”

Starting Oct. 16, the JFG Coffee sign will be one of the signs featured in the Charlotte Museum of History’s new exhibit, “Charlotte: Signs of Home.” Other signs among the exhibit include one for Eastland Mall and the recently removed sign for The Penguin.

“We have all these icons of places in Charlotte that were near and dear to people’s hearts,” Focht said.

In fact, the exhibit might be a bit sad for those who yearn for Charlotte’s past.

“But the icons still exist,” Focht said. “And people still think of them fondly and think of the time spent (there).”

The exhibition kicks off Thursday, Oct. 14 with Charlotte Gem, a party on the museum’s grounds that will include performances by Nouveau Sud Circus Project, ax throwing, drinks and appetizers and access to new museum exhibits, including “Siloam School.” Tickets are $200 or $150 for museum members

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Jodie Valade has been a Digital News and Engagement Editor for WFAE since 2019. Since moving to Charlotte in 2015, she has worked as a digital content producer for NASCAR.com and a freelance writer for publications ranging from Charlotte magazine to The Athletic to The Washington Post and New York Times. Before that, Jodie was an award-winning sports features and enterprise reporter at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. She also worked at The Dallas Morning News covering the Dallas Mavericks — where she became Mark Cuban's lifelong email pen pal — and at The Kansas City Star. She has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Master of Education from John Carroll University. She is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan.