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New Signs on Old Main Street

By Ed Fuentes with Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, July 29, 2008, at 05:53PM
Painted Signs Eric Richardson [Flickr]

The Hot House sign faces south, while the RZO sign looks at the street.

Work began Thursday on two new signs facing Main street, advertising a productions company and a management firm. One of the painted signs sits up against the detailed and aging Army Navy sign, faded from decades in the elements.

Old, fading signage is all around Downtown. It's a beloved part of the streetscape. And that's what makes the impact of these new additions a little tough to figure out. Is this something we should applaud, or not?

The ads promote "Hot House Productions" and "RZO Management." One would hope that the two are located in the building, but neither sign gives any indication and neither seem to have websites.

The Hot House Productions sign sits where the bottom of the Army Navy sign once was. That section of sign was damaged long ago, and most recently had some bulky plastic letters advertising a discount store.

On the one hand, the signs are part of a tradition of the old ads. On the other, they're something new invading a space that's been about history.

If nothing else, the change should remind us to take a closer look at the old signs. Underneath the fading Army Navy typography are ghosted images from even older signage for a theater. Downtown's buildings tell a story, and perhaps it's ok if a new chapter gets added.

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