Monday, April 23, 2007

Work with Local Merchants/Government to Promote Historic Signage

Rumford Falls, especially the Island, would benefit from playing up its historical assets by increasingly using historic themed signs and storefronts. I would suggest a low pressure effort to encourage local merchants to phase-in signs and storefront fa硤es that promote a historic atmosphere. A more pleasing and attractive area can be created with some coordinated effort to use signs and storefronts whose style and fonts increasingly fit the period of Rumford Falls? economic boom, c1890s to 1920s. This coordination could be expected to draw both tourists and locals to the area.

Many signs in Rumford Falls already fit within this ideal. However, without being pushy or
offensive it is possible that many merchants might be persuaded to eliminate and replace back-lighted signs, signs with prominent product advertisements (i.e. ads for Pepsi larger than the business name on the same sign), and more modern style signs with those whose fonts and appearance will contribute to a consistent historic atmosphere.

Local interested merchants can contact us for examples of both simple and more elaborate sign styles that would fit within this ideal and contribute to a coordinated transformation to a more historic atmosphere.

Merchants may receive encouragement and exposure in the form of small articles submitted to the local paper/s showing the new sign/s or change and discussing how the business in participating in a community minded effort to highlight Rumford Falls? historic legacy and promote Rumford Falls pride.

While some merchants might be convinced to convert signage fairly early, we will also encourage those not willing to do so immediately to keep the concept in mind when they replace signs as they wear out.

This effort regarding merchants would likely be an ongoing campaign of suggestion which we hope will gradually accumulate significant change. Society members and sympathizers can contribute to the effort by appropriately letting the businesses they patronize know that they believe this simple idea is a good one which could have a positive impact on both their individual businesses and the community as a whole. They can also make themselves available on a practical level with suggestions regarding fonts and sign styles which can be historically harmonious.

This effort should also be taken to the town government to encourage them to commission and phase in signs which harmonize as much as possible with the historic theme. They should also be encouraged to carry the theme through to the signs along Route 2 and Route 108 and at the information booth directing traffic to the island and the historic areas of town.

Depending on whether a consensus supports the idea, local government can encourage the idea, through this signage and various other means, of once again referring to this immediate area as Rumford Falls or the Rumford Falls Historic District. This will differentiate it from other parts of Rumford as well as promote and strengthen the area?s historical significance.

No comments: