Commission says historic signs need flair

CITY HALL — The city’s Historic Preservation Commission requested more designs for the proposed “gateway” signs for three Glendale historic districts after they reviewed the current mock signs Monday and decided some details could be changed.

Commissioners said during their Monday meeting that the current font on the signs needed more flair and that using the phrase “historic district” twice was excessive.

“I think it looks a little too sterile,” Commission George Adrian said of the current design.

The signs will be posted throughout the historic districts, which are Royal Boulevard, Cottage Grove and Ard Eevin Highlands, and are intended to inform visitors that the city deemed the neighborhood that they just entered or exited as historic, said Jay Platt, the city’s Historic Preservation Planner, who designed the signs.

Cottage Grove and Ard Eevin Highlands will be officially designated as historic districts March 5, he said.

Fourteen homes make up the Cottage Grove district from Cottage Grove Avenue near Adams Hill, and 87 homes in north Glendale comprise the Ard Eevin Highlands district. The City Council voted in October to allow 30 homes on Royal Boulevard to become the city’s first historic district.

The mock signage presented Monday was tan with a dark brown border, the name of the historic district in brown block letters, the city’s old seal in the bottom center of the sign with the date that district became historic, and the name of the city on two sides of the seal.

“We have taken the old city seal, which I thought was appropriate because we have historic districts [and] the city probably used this at the time these districts were being built out...,” Platt said.

The colors used for the signs were similar to colors used for other signs for historic sites in the city, he said.

“The thought is, we wanted these to be unique to the historic districts and kind of blend into the palettes we have in the city,” Platt said.

Commissioner Ruben Amirian requested more design samples, but he said he liked the current sign design and thought it looked distinguished.

“This is fine for me,” Amirian said. “I like to be able to read it as soon as I see it.”

The placement of the signs is crucial because the signs shouldn’t add clutter to streets, Platt said.

Platt will work with Public Works on installing the signs, but he said he hasn’t decided on how the signs will be attached.

The city wants to place the signs in locations in each district that are most used by visitors and residents, he said.

Two signs could be placed in Cottage Grove, three to four signs can be added to streets in the Royal Boulevard historic district, and five to nine could be added to the Ard Eevin Highlands district, Platt said.

“We don’t know exactly where signs are going to go and, on that end, we don’t know exactly what they are going to be attached to because we have many options at many different intersections,” he said.

The city will also talk to residents about the signs’ location, Platt said.

Signs will be 12 by 18 inches, which Platt said is the best size to use because signage throughout the city is already that size.

The signs will cost $50 to attach to an existing structure, but if there is no structure to attach the sign to, costs will increase, he said.

The sign design must be finalized and approved by the City Council, Platt said.

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