Compo Acres Paint Palette

The other day, alert “06880” reader Suzanne Sherman Propp noticed something.

Or, more accurately, she noticed something missing.

It was the “paint palette” sign at Compo Acres Shopping Center.

For decades it’s stood at the very-tough-to-maneuver entrance, on the corner of Post Road and South Compo.

I would say “next to Patriot Bank,” but no one in the history of finance has ever been there. So I’ll say “next to where Sam Goody’s used to be,” and hope you get the reference.

The “paint palette” sign was straight out of the 1950s, when the shopping center was built (obviously, from the parking situation). The sign was there when folks ate at Morris’s luncheonette (closed — like every other “luncheonette” in the world), bought toys at Carousel (burned to the ground), and shopped at Franklin Simon (gone to that great retail space in the sky).

Now the sign has disappeared too.

That would be the end of this blog post, except I needed a photo of it. I looked in all the usual places (Google Images, Facebook), and then the unusual (the website of the property owner).

Without a shot of the sign, I couldn’t run this story.

Suzanne’s friend Anne Hardy came to the rescue. She wracked her brain, thought of Google Maps Street View — and, voilà!

Paint palette

No, it’s not the greatest photo in the world.

But after sitting there for more than half a century, this may be the only evidence of the “paint palette” sign to be found, online or off.

9 responses to “Compo Acres Paint Palette

  1. Jamie Walsh

    I liked that sign, as kitchie (sp?) as it was better than the monolithic block of granite that now bestows the Main entrance by Trader Joes.

  2. Marc Sholes

    Another icon bites the dust

  3. Doug Conner

    Off topic: it’s 8am, has anyone “reserved” a table at Compo Beach for the fireworks tonight?

  4. Laura Myer

    I was just musing about the pallete sign a few weeks ago with my husband while we were waiting at the light. It remained beside the great old tree as a vestigal reminder of Westport as an artist colony.I had never really thought about the sign before that day but as we drove on we talked about our childhoods and challenged each other to name all of the defunct businesses that had once occupied that center. That wonderful kitschy symbol of old Westport had evoked so many memories! Where is the sign now? The essence of Westport is disappearing piece by piece.

  5. Robin Babbin

    Good detective work Suzanne and Anne. I will miss that sign. It’s nice to see “signs” of a past.

  6. My husband managed Franklin Simon for a while in the late 1960’s. Nice to know someone else remembers it. Loved that store. He was working when we had the “East Coast Blackout.” Couldn’t come home as he could not close store without electricity. Old memories!! Lois O’Hara Weiss

  7. Lisa Tantillo

    Is it just me, or does the new sign look like a tombstone? It kind of gives me the creeps every time I drive by.

  8. Jo Shields

    Lisa, me too.

  9. Wendy Crowther

    I don’t think this sign has been missing very long – I noticed it was still there several weeks ago. I’ve always worried about it because it was such a quaint vestige of a by-gone Westport and it looked like an easy target to steal (or purposely remove by the property owners). In fact, I was amazed that it had lasted as long as it had. It always made me smile when I’d see it as I sat at the traffic light on South Compo.

    It disappeared one other time (within the last year or two) and it came back about a month or two later. I was relieved when it returned. Let’s hope the sign will find its way back to its long-held location again.

    Some might say that the missing sign is a sign of the times. I hope that this statement doesn’t turn out to be true. I will keep my fingers crossed for its safe return.