North Adams Chamber of Commerce unveils welcome signage

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NORTH ADAMS — Local organizations are making sure that visitors get a 12-foot-tall welcome to North Adams.

The North Adams Chamber of Commerce, local nonprofit North Adams Partnership, and the City of North Adams on Wednesday unveiled the design for new city signage that will eventually both welcome and direct tourists to city's landmarks and businesses. The new logos and design will also be used for marketing purposes, including in an upcoming remodeling of the chamber's tourism website, explorenorthadams.com.

The first uses of the art will be on three 12-foot-tall gateway signs to welcome visitors to the city. The signs are planned in the area of Western Summit on Route 2, near the city's Airport on Route 2, and on Route 8 near the Hardman Industrial Park. The Chamber of Commerce plans to have them installed sometime in November.

"These gateway signs will highlight the new North Adams brand image and serve to welcome the visitors and locals to our great little city," said Glenn Maloney, president of the chamber's board of directors.

Several months in the making and crafted with community input, the final logo squeezes into one landscape depictions of the buildings on Main Street, the Mohawk Trail, the Hoosac Tunnel, the Hoosic River, a mountainside, a steeple, and a clocktower. The $50,000 design was conducted by Stolz Design, a firm based in Boston, and paid for by the North Adams Partnership. The nonprofit also shouldered to cost for installation and construction, at about $32,000.

"There are a lot of signs that presently exist that will not exist going forward," said Duncan Brown, chairman of the North Adams Partnership's board of directors. "As we try to make it uniform, the whole point is so that you don't have flashing signals to the driver of a car or the person walking on the street. The continuity is going to be very important."

In the second phase of the three-phase project, the chamber will work with city businesses and stakeholders to find locations for three more gateway signs that will read "Welcome to Downtown." Initial location ideas include near the Eclipse Mill, near West Main Street, and near the Hadley Overpass.

The third phase of the project, also led by the chamber, will focus on the design and construction of smaller directional signs that will direct tourists to specific landmarks and businesses. Leaders of the organizations hope to have the project completed in the next two years.

"I'm really excited that the partnership was able to take this and develop in a way that brought it to the table and brought it to fruition," said North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright.

The explorenorthadams.com website is currently under development with the collaboration of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, the Chamber of Commerce, and the city of North Adams, Maloney said.

The organizations will be fundraising to complete phase two and phase three of the project.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6276.


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