Town Working with Developer to Keep Lord's Sign

The town is working with developer Salvatore Capital Partners LLC, who purchased the Lord's building in December, to keep the iconic Lord's sign on the building.


Town officials met with developer Greg Salvatore to discuss his plans for the iconic Lord's sign, as well as other plans for the building, on Thursday. 

Lord's Department Store will be closing on Feb. 28 after 73 years in business and Salvatore Capital Partners LLC bought the retail space at the corner of Main and South Streets on Dec. 31. 

"His main concern is the [new] tenants in the building get sufficient signage," said Chairman of the Downtown Study Committee Brandie Morris.

Town officials are seeking historical status for the sign that has lit up downtown for decades. If that is granted, it will help in its preservation.

"When you drive through Medfield, you know you're in Medfield when you see the Lord's sign, it's been a big part of the downtown for such a long time; I think it's really important to keep it," said Assistant Town Administrator Kristine Trierweiler.

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"There seems to be some room under existing zoning [bylaws] that, if it's used to identify the building, then it wouldn't interfere with the tenants' needs," said Matt McCormick, a member of the Downtown Study Committee and Chairman of the town's Sign Committee. "If you use that as the identification for the building [and not advertisement for a business] then it becomes a different entity."

Town officials said they would like to move the sign higher up on the building, to use it as an identifier of the building -- such as "Lord's Block" or "Lord's Shops," and that Salvatore was "very amenable" to the idea.

The legalities will have to be worked out with the developer but the sign would likely be leased back to the town which would be responsible for its maintenance.

There will be costs associated with maintenance and a "Friends of..." group will likely be started to raise money for that purpose. Some residents have already volunteered to donate to 'save the sign' but the town is still working with the Department of Revenue to make sure any donations are accepted in the right way.

Tell us: Do you think a "Friends of the Lord's Sign" should be established to maintain the neon Lord's sign? If so, would you donate to that group? Tell us in the comment section below. 

Steven Mahler January 18, 2013 at 02:08 PM
The only silver lining to the end of Lords is the end of the neon sign. Please let's move on from that eye sore. There are plenty of reasons why signs like that are no longer commonplace and I think it is a disservice to insist that it remain.
CMP January 18, 2013 at 02:50 PM
According to the National Park Service, under the direction of the Dept. of the Interior (which has issued a report on the significant history associated with various types of signage), "Neon is another great twentieth-century contribution to the signmaker's art....Neon first appeared in signs in the 1920s, and reached its height of popularity in the 1940s...After a period of decline, it underwent a renaissance, beginning in the 1970s. Artists experimented with neon as a conscious art-form, and several notable architects further helped in its revival. Renewed interest in this colorful medium also sparked interest in preserving historic neon signs." The Lord's sign is both historically and artistically significant, and deserves preservation. No wonder "iconic" seems to be the word most commonly used to describe it.
Sean Snow January 18, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Removing the Lord's sign from the town would be a tragedy. That sign is iconic and part of the town of Medfield's identity. How anyone can love this town and want the sign gone is totally beyond me.
Nancy Norris January 18, 2013 at 05:02 PM
I was very pleased and relieved to hear that the Town is working swiftly and thoughtfully towards the preservation of the Lord's sign. Kudo's and thanks go to the Town from me for sure!
Ellen Gruhn January 22, 2013 at 02:25 AM
Isn't there some place on town property that can take the sign? Maybe the back wall of Town Hall, someplace inside Town Hall, or some other town building. Many builders/contractors will agree to anything at first, just to get their permits; then as time passes they make some excuse or other as to why they "have to" do what they really had in mind all along, like tearing down the building and building some monstrosity or other; Dunkin' Donuts for example, right in downtown Medfield. Please try to find space on town property to put Lord's sign!


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