PennDOT Road Sign Sculpture Garden – Meadville, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

PennDOT Road Sign Sculpture Garden

Meadville, Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania landscape depicted by a quarter mile of mosaics made from used road signs. 


Along the Smock Highway in Meadville, Pennsylvania, in an otherwise drab stretch of strip malls, the north side of the road is lined by a colorful pattern of repurposed road signs that stretches for nearly a quarter mile. Located on the property of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation building (hence the name “PennDOT”), the PennDOT Road Sign Sculpture Garden is the most perplexing set of driving instructions you’ll ever see.

Alternatively known as “Read Between the Signs,” the road sign sculpture garden was created when art students from the nearby Allegheny College teamed up with DoT employees who had a few extra road signs on their hands. The result was both bizarre and ingenious, portraying the Pennsylvania landscape with a recycled metal homage.

Along the sculpture garden’s 10-foot mural wall, Smock Highway drivers will pass by oceanic waves made of blue hospital signs, a barn constructed from red stop signs, and an adjacent silo made of white junction signs. Turkeys, sombreros, oil wells, kayakers, rainbow hot air balloons, and Ferris Wheels movable by hand are portrayed through creative road sign assortments, and an intricately accurate road sign model of Allegheny College’s Bentley Hall sits toward the wall’s western end. Farmers will enjoy the sculpture garden’s takes on various farm animals, and theme park enthusiasts will be thrilled by a rollercoaster slope made of 45 mph signs.

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