When Germantown gadfly Allison Weiss caught wind of the tumultuous NewsWorks campaign to get City Councilwoman Cindy Bass’ named spelled correctly on Germantown Avenue roadwork-project signage, she quickly noted another public typo had gotten stuck in her craw.
Specifically, as she reported the day the Cindy-spelling victory was attained, Weiss asked NewsWorks to remedy the Department of Recreation sign that spells the name of a Wayne Avenue rec center as “Happy Holow” instead of the accurate “Happy Hollow.”
On Wednesday morning, we recorded evidence that backed her claim and emailed it to the Mayor’s Press Office. Within two hours, a city spokeswoman said spellcheck help was on the way.
A quarter-century typo?
Jen Crandall took the photograph provided by NewsWorks to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department for edification.
“Based on the look of the sign,” she said that they said, “it could be 25 years old. It’s been there for a while.”
Voters approved the merger of the city Recreation Department and the Fairmount Park Commission in 2008 and as a result, said Crandall, the resulting city Department of Parks and Recreation is “in the process of rebranding all [playgrounds and facilities] with new signs.”
As such, the “Happy Holow” sign will get “replaced and corrected anyway,” though there’s no exact timetable for that to happen, Crandall said. Then, she added another wrinkle to the saga.
“Because of the age of the sign,” she said, “there’s no way to know whether it was correct at the time.”
Yes there is, counters Weiss
Weiss, who describes herself as an advocate working to draw attention and interest to Happy Hollow, pointed out Thursday morning that it was listed as “Happy Hollow” when it opened on April 29, 1911. (She cited historical records as prosecutorial exhibits.)
Bolstering her case, she said that embedded remnants of old wooden letters replaced with metal ones atop the rec center’s doorway in the 1950s spelled it “Hollow” as well.
“So long ago that I can’t even remember,” Weiss said of when she noticed the public typo at what she deemed the city’s oldest recreation center.
“I’ve mentioned it to anybody who has come there, everybody on my things-to-do list, forever. It’s right there in plain view, but nobody seems to care. And children go there! What are we promoting here?” she asked. “It’s disrespectful!”
NewsWorks intends to monitor the situation and report on it again when that extra “L” arrives in Germantown.
Is there a misspelled city sign that irks you to no end in Northwest Philly? Let us know. NewsWorks will see if we can help you attain peace of mind, but only if you promise not to go back through our stories for typos.