UPDATED [4/13/12]: PlanPhilly’s JoAnn Greco reports that the Inquirer will indeed get its canopy and marquee, but the bronze lettering issue has been tabled.
All over the building at 8th and Market streets there are ghost letters that spell out Strawbridge & Clothier.
What happened to the signs on Strawbridge’s?
The lettering was apparently removed sometime between the Srawbridge & Clothier building being listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places in 2006 and PREIT’s acquisition of the building that year.
At the time the Historical Commission was aware that the signs – which should have been protected by historic designation – were removed but opted to hold off on issuing a violation. Now that PREIT wants to permission to add a new canopy over the original western entrance (seen above) where the largest lettering is missing, preservation advocates want to see the Strawbridge’s sign put back. The canopy design will include signage for the building’s new tenants, the Inquirer and Daily News.
The new canopy design will be considered at Friday’s Historical Commission meeting [agenda pdf]. The design is just fine by folks at thePreservation Alliance, but they’d like to see its approval be contingent on the agreement that the Strawbridge’s signage is put back.
“Considering the amount of public assistance that the newspaper was given to relocate it’s not an unreasonable request…to correct the violation,” said Ben Leech, advocacy director at the Preservation Alliance.
My question: What about the smaller Strawbridge’s ghost letters that flank every entrance at the building? These signs are at street level and are far more noticeable to passers by and there are about 16 missing.