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Acorn Corner Signs Approved

Architecture board gives OK to historically accurate sign plan

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. "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.

silly sally March 06, 2013 at 08:31 AM
acorn corner...gah.
Chris (Kit) Myers March 06, 2013 at 12:38 PM
How can it be historic preservation if it can be changed after five years?
William March 06, 2013 at 01:59 PM
Well Sally if you don't like the name perhaps you should have bought the building and did what you liked! Chris if you re-read the article it shows you why 5 years! "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."
Chris (Kit) Myers March 06, 2013 at 05:17 PM
I understand that. I just don't consider five years to be much in the way of "preservation" when the owner is getting close to two million dollars in the way of tax credits. If it were me I would never take the credits and then make changes, and I don't know why the state and feds would allow such a thing in their rules. But... that's just me.
moral concerned kent historian neighbor man March 06, 2013 at 05:34 PM
in today's newspaper, it seems that burbick is is upset that his design ideas were controlled by the ohio historic preservation office. kind of ironic, eh, considering how much he embraces the local historic group. he practically says that in 5 years he'll be able to do things his way. and we all know what kind of signs he likes...
John Bard March 06, 2013 at 06:10 PM
One of the most memorable if not historic happenings at the Hotel was the manager being crushed by the elevator as he repaired it. That is being totally removed and a new one installed on the exterior of the "Historically Preserved Hotel".
hybob March 06, 2013 at 06:23 PM
kit, it is a sign of the times...
Matt Fredmonsky March 06, 2013 at 08:36 PM
The only actual change that Mr. Burbick mentioned yesterday after that five-year period could be the addition of a sign on the western wall that would allow for changeable banners to advertise events such as the Main Street Kent and DICE events downtown. While he said tenants would be permitted to submit their own designs for the tenant signs, he said he has final say. Burbick gave the impression that he planned to keep a tight rein on the design of the signs.
Bob Mayfield March 07, 2013 at 08:18 PM
The sign plan will be before the Planning Commission on March 19th.

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