King of Jeans sign being removed today, to be displayed at Provenance Salvage in NoLibs

Update: This post has been updated to include a statement from East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association’s zoning chair, David Goldfarb.

We’ve been following the King of Jeans building development for years and it appears that it is now officially the end of an era for the building. At about 11 a.m. this morning, we were informed that the sign is in the process of being taken down.

King of Jeans
Photo of the sign removal by Darren Fava

Goldfarb said in his statement that the sign will find a new home at Provenance Salvage in Northern Liberties.

More from Goldfarb’s statement:

Both East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association and I were sad to see that the iconic King of Jeans sign was taken down today. For well over a year, we worked diligently to find a new public place for the sign, ideally in the neighborhood but at any Philadelphia location if need be (chair Joseph F. Marino and owner Andy Kaplan even looked into the Atwater Kent independently).

Unfortunately, although we came close to finding it an ideal home before a difficult party tangential to a deal scuttled the sign’s relocation, we were unable to find an appropriate location. We want to thank Andy Kaplan and everyone at Rockland Capital, who not only gave us *every* opportunity in the last year plus to find a new location for the sign at no cost but also looked himself. We regrettably have to agree with him that the best solution at this late time was to find it a new home at Provenance Salvage, whom Andy has reached an agreement with to display the sign under condition that it not be re-sold.

However you viewed the sign–as art, as kitsch, as borderline obscenity–it was undoubtedly part of the neighborhood’s fabric, a reminder of an ’80s era of East Passyunk that we are lucky to still drawn upon, and a conversation piece that reminded us to keep things weird on East Passyunk. While we look forward to the new building that will replace the windowless shell at 1843 E Passyunk Avenue, that sign will be missed dearly and not forgotten.

Excuse me while I mourn the sign’s passing the only way I can think of: listening to Philadelphia’s own Pissed Jeans, who named their third album after that weird, wonderful sign.

The existing building is being demolished and a five-story building will go up in its place.

Back in February of 2014, developer Andy Kaplan was granted approval for the project which will include apartments, retail and office space. Originally, the project was denied by the Zoning Board of Adjustments, but after a reconsideration hearing, the project was approved. 

In 2012 we asked our readers what they’d like to see happen to the sign. Although none of these options will now be possible, check out some of the responses. 

–Taylor Farnsworth, @tfarnsworth3

14 thoughts on “King of Jeans sign being removed today, to be displayed at Provenance Salvage in NoLibs

  • February 5, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Such a shame. It was so strange and noteworthy. Passyunk marches on to being just another boring street. This weird stuff is what makes this street unique.

    • February 5, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      For crying out loud, it was just a silly sign. Sure it was amusing and weird. But what it really was is a remnant of when the street WAS truly boring. Something I doubt you recall.

  • February 5, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    not sorry to see it go at all.

    • February 10, 2015 at 4:08 pm


  • February 5, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    I’ll be more relieved when we know the future of it.

  • February 5, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Perhaps we need Izak to come back and do some “magic” to save the sign.

  • February 5, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    it should be in the philadelphia museum of art

  • February 5, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Not everything needs to be preserved and remembered. That should be saved for important things; not some piece of crap wall advertisement from a horrible store.

  • February 5, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    It was a truly iconic piece of signage for the avenue. Tacky, but memorable for sure.

  • February 5, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Dump it in the trash! Surely there are more important things to conserve.

  • February 5, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    random thought: If this was Brooklyn, the sign would’ve quickly found a new home, repurposed as signage for a boutique shop selling $250 selvedged denim.

    • February 6, 2015 at 9:53 am

      Probably not, even in Brooklyn. The King of Jeans name is still owned by the original owner.

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