Smith library sign shot down

Thursday, October 30, 2008 6:20 AM EDT
By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff

NORTH BRANFORD — Negative reactions from some residents of the Northford section of town have scuttled plans for a sign over the door of the newly renovated Edward Smith Memorial Library.

The library, which is set to reopen in December, included a sign over the main entrance reading “Smith.” There are also two freestanding signs with the library’s full name.

Town Manager Richard Branigan said that some people had expressed concerns with the “Smith” sign, and the Permanent Project Building Committee decided at its meeting Monday to remove the sign.

“It looked out of character to some people,” he said. “(They thought) the lettering was too large. It didn’t fit with what they thought it should look like.”

Branigan said he does not know whether the sign will be replaced.

“I think (the building committee) felt at least temporarily that the two freestanding signs would be sufficient.”

The Smith Library, at the intersection of Old Post Road and Middletown Avenue, has been under construction for about a year. The work will renovate the existing 5,200-square-foot building and increase the total size to more than 10,000 square feet.

The facility dates from 1956, when Clara Smith donated money for the library’s construction to honor her father, Edward.

With construction at the Atwater Memorial Library scheduled to begin construction once the Smith Library reopens, there were also plans for a sign there reading just “Atwater,” Branigan said.

“The architect I think had it as part of a theme that they would put ‘Atwater’ over the Atwater library,” he said. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen with the theme.”

The total cost for the two library expansion projects is about $9 million.

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