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Signs for Kent State Hotel to Be Reviewed by Planning Commission

Banners, displays similar to prints on the library and recreation center on campus

The design of the Kent State Hotel and Conference Center may look all business, but that serious facade will be accented by some "flashy" art work.

Part of the sign package for the as-yet-unidentified hotel brand will include some large banners with graphics advertising Kent State. The latest plans shows members of the Golden Flashes football team stretched across huge banners on the outside of the hotel.

The banners are similar to ones already on the Kent State Library and on campus.

Jeff Glavan, a partner in the architecture firm designing the hotel, said the graphics  signal the connection between Kent State and downtown. 

"The whole idea of what we were doing … is an extension of what the university, President (Lester) Lefton, is looking for, is an extension of Kent State downtown," Glavan said.

A change to the city's zoning code in April 2010 requires sign packages go to the Kent Planning Commission, .

Jennifer Barone, Kent planning engineer, said the sign package also has to go to the city's architectural review board when it is completed.

The more than $15 million hotel is being built by Columbus hotelier The Pizzuti Companies in cooperation with the Kent State Foundation, which is investing more than $3 million in the project.

Don Wheat, vice president for public and private projects for Pizzuti, said approval of the signs does not make or break the project.

"It's a combination of exterior banners that would just be a typical printed banner and potentially some flat panel displays," Wheat said. "Of course we realize that’s subject to approval. The building can be built if the signs are not approved."

Glavan said certain brands have strict requirements for signage on their hotels, but the brand most heavily considered for the Kent State hotel has generous regulations for signage.

"Our understanding is we’re going to be in good shape," he said. “We’re in a very positive situation with the proposed flag right now."

Kent Economic Development Director Dan Smith said the city staff supports the overall design of the hotel and believes it is respectful of the rest of downtown Kent's architecture.

Dred Naught June 13, 2011 at 10:17 PM
Once again the city of Kent gets boring institutional architecture. First we were stuck with the an early bathroom, late wedding cake library and now this. Kent States motto should be "think inside the box."
Morningglory June 14, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Just a little overpowering . . . don't you think?
Jim VandenBoom June 14, 2011 at 03:22 PM
Matt, this is not "art work". These are photographic advertisements for KSU. KSU is in the business of Education, not the cultivation of jocks. If any football team is to be advertised, it should be the Rough Riders. The Idea of this shows NO imagination, creativity, or intelligence. I know someone who recently finished an amazing painting of Socrates that would look awesome 30'x30'.
Jon Ridinger June 14, 2011 at 05:15 PM
Why would a building that is largely being financed by KSU feature the Rough Riders? In reality, no matter what "artwork" you put here, there are going to be people who find it lacking creativity, imagination, intelligence, etc. or just find it ugly. Personally I would've much preferred the building be designed so that it doesn't need huge banners of anything on part of it. I don't mind them, but KSU has gone crazy putting these things up all over campus. Dix Stadium? OK, that's fine, but these things are on the Rec Center, the MAC Center, the library...enough already!
Jim VandenBoom June 15, 2011 at 04:25 AM
Jon, I agree totally in that, why is this building architecturally incomplete as to need a banner. But this is supposed to be a connecting of KSU and the city. If KSU was truly trying to partner with the city, why wouldn't there be something to promote the city as well. Bottom line a banner is not appropriate.

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