Hoping to use the Adams Memorial Opera House as a “gateway to the community,” councilors have begun the process for installing a new electronic sign at the historic building.
Council members voted in their March 7 meeting to approve using $17,000 from the Land and Building Capital Reserve fund to install an electronic message sign at the Opera House, 29 West Broadway.
The vote to appropriate funds begins the process to seek proposals for the sign and develop an agreement with tenants at the Memorial building, according to officials.
“The Folks at the Opera House, which is a town-owned facility, have been looking for better ways to publicize events, as has the town,” Administrator David Caron said. “And the location of the Adams building is a gateway to the community along Broadway.”
Before approving the plan, some councilors said they were concerned the sign would detract from the historical significance of the building.
“The reason I’m torn is because it’s a beautiful historic building and the building itself would look different from the sign,” Councilor Joshua Bourdon said.
Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores said the town should consult with the Heritage Commission and Historical Society on the placement of the sight.
But the new sign will not alter the character of the Adams building, said Councilor Jim Morgan, who has seen a drawing of the new sign that was provided by the Derry Arts Council Morgan said the sign will fit within the same two poles that are used for the current sign, which uses an outdated manual lettering system.
“It doesn’t change the character of the building,” Morgan said. “It’s not like they are going to put a much bigger sign there, it’s going to stay the same size,” Morgan said.
He said an extreme effort has been made in the proposed sign to maintain traditional aesthetics.
“This is a really important first step in trying to improve the Opera House and the visibility of the Opera House for people to go to shows and for different things,” Morgan said.