Fleet Wing_2-tone
Name: Fleet Wing, aka A&W Jewelry
Address: 49 West King Street
Built: c. 1940
Architect: Unknown

This sleek little relic began life as a filling station for Fleet Wing gasoline in the early 1940s, when few other buildings of any kind were going up downtown.  While it would only serve this purpose for a few short years, the building kept a decidedly bird-themed identity for decades.  In 1944 it was converted to the Bluebird Grill, and in 1950 became the Pelican Bar and Grill.  For almost twenty-five years, a large neon pelican sat atop an electric marquee sign mounted to the building.  Today, however, only a vaguely avian tv antennae keeps company with the graceful red silhouetted bird of the surviving original logo.

The building is clad in a colorful palate of porcelain enamel, a then-state-of-the-art material favored for its ease of maintenance and streamlined appearance.  A decade later, this same material would be used in mass-produced all-steel Lustron houses, an evolutionary dead-end but now a cult classic of mid-century architecture.  For more on Lustron, click here.