Subtle and historically accurate signs on the renovated Acorn Corner will identify the building's tenants to the public.
The Kent Architectural Review Board signed off on a comprehensive sign plan for the building that was presented to the group Tuesday by developer Ron Burbick.
Burbick said the 11 total signs were first presented to the Ohio Historic Preservation Office in Columbus, where state historic preservation officials gave the sign plan the green light.
"All these signs were historically on the building," he said.
The signs, and their locations, are:
- Canopy sign over main entrance facing East Main Street. The canopy will feature three small logos, one on each side, for ground-floor anchor tenant Buffalo Wild Wings.
- Hanging bracket signs on the north and east facades. Two hanging bracket signs; the east sign advertising Buffalo Wild Wings and the north sign advertising the Secret Cellar, a wine bar in the building's basement.
- Panel signs on the Main Street facade. These signs will advertise upper-floor commercial tenants and are located above and beneath the first-floor windows on either side of the arch windows.
- Tenant directories, historical marker. Two tenant directory plaques, one on the east face and one on the south face of the building, will identify the commercial tenants. A historical marker for the National Register of Historic Places will be located on the lower left corner of the Main Street facade.
- "Franklin Hotel" sign. The large, painted sign on the building's west elevation will be repainted and framed to identify the building's date of construction, 1920, its year of finished renovation, 2013, and to bear its new name: Acorn Corner.
Burbick said the signs must remain as approved by the state preservation office for five years in order to comply with regulations set so he could obtain the close to $2 million in state and federal tax credits for the restoration.
The signs could be changed after that five-year period ends, Burbick said.
"There is a plan for five years and one day," he said. "That hotel will look a little different five and-a-half years from now."
Buffalo Wild Wings is set to open April 1 in Acorn Corner. The basement space, which became available when Kent Cycle opted not to move to the building, will be occupied by a wine and jazz bar called Secret Cellar.
Burbick said the building's grand opening is set for April 24.
The architecture board voted unanimously to approve the sign plan as presented with no changes. Architecture board member Doug Fuller, who is working on the renovation, was not present for the discussion and did not vote.
"The whole building just looks fabulous," board member Elizabeth Eaken said.