OLD SACRAMENTO -- A sign that had been in Old Sacramento for nearly a century is now gone.
"They basically defaced the building," said city historian Marcia Eymann.
Eymann says the Boss of the Road Overalls sign had been on the side of the old Eureka Bathhouse building since the early 1920s. She believes it was strategically painted there, targeting a group that needed strong work clothes.
"The railyards are just across the way and workers would have seen those signs," she said.
But sometime last week, the advertisement was painted over by the owners of the building who wanted the name of their nightclub, Ambiance, painted there instead.
"Nothing was ever submitted, nobody knew anything about it, that they were going to paint that in any way," Eymann said.
City code enforcement stopped the work before the new sign was completed, but the old sign has been completely painted over.
"We're trying to have everything nice and original things, you know?" said El Maya owner Louis Perez.
Neighboring shop owners say they're furious. Perez says he can't understand why they would paint over the sign.
"I'm sad to see it's gone because I’m a history buff," Danny Johnson, who owns Danny's Mini Donuts, told FOX40.
Johnson says he wishes the old advertisement was left alone, but understands why the nightclub owners didn't think painting over it would be a problem.
"They own the building. They can do what they want," Johnson said. "They just didn’t follow proper procedures probably."
However, because Old Sacramento is a historic district, the city must approve the removal of historic ads.
The owners of Ambiance did not respond to FOX40's requests for comment.
"They wouldn’t have been given permission to do that," Eymann said.
City code enforcement says the owners agreed to restore the ad and they’ll have to hire a restoration artist to do so. However, Eymann warns it could damage the building and it wouldn't be as authentic as the original.
"It's a layer of the past, that we come upon every once and awhile," Eymann said. "Even though it's not the period of significance for the district, it's still an important piece in the history of Sacramento."