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Verizon requests new signage in Lenox

When a utility sends an outside, third party, to the Lenox Historic District Commission (LHDC) to ask for permission for a new sign, one knows there is a story.

In this case, Verizon Communications, Inc. wants to put their flashy logo sign 25.5” tall by 39” wide on the building to ID it after all these years.

It sounds on the surface a wonderful idea.

But to this writer, who opposed the new signage, it marks a time to demand clean-up of the property, sandblasting off the while paint and restoring the red brick building to its past.

Shabby chic does not work here. It does not work in the Lenox Historic District and it does not reflect well on corporate America’s communication utility, which we all have a part of as customers.

Meanwhile, the LHDC suggested a sign of “foam and black matte paint” that would give a more historical look in the historic district than the presented metal logo sign which would appear as almost like a neon sign on property that has not been maintained for years at 48 Walker St.

NOTE: As a taxpayer and a former member of the LHDC, I have called for reasonable improvements in the historic district and have advocated against sandwich board signs, wholesale demolition of buildings along with minimum signage.

Bottom line: No Coney Island here!

Also, I have worked with Verizon workers and managers over the years to ensure good landlines and improvements of service during its transition from New England Telephone & Telegraph, to NYNEX (New York/New England) and in 1997 changed to Bell Atlantic before the merger in 2000 of the company and GTE (GTE Corporation, formerly General Telephone & Electronics Corporation) into Verizon.

Bell Atlantic at my request took down their wires (lines and poles) on the old Ventfort Hall estate and re-routed them at a cost of $22,000 into Schermerhorn Park via Kemble Street. Later they secured good copper for DSL into Lenox Dale. They probably spent more than $5,000 in this request to ensure our connectivity.

Now comes my request to make the telephone switch building a source of pride for the community and its landline and data users.

In 2008, I got the company to improve some of its parts. Herein is an e-mail to Dominic P. Veltri, Director – Real Estate Operations:


            The subject of the Verizon building came up at the Historic Commission meeting (back in 2006.)

            Where does the issue of sandblasting the paint off the building (estimated to be $30,000 at the time.) and returning it to its natural state stand?

            Since your visit, the driveway has been upgraded, the trees either pruned or removed.

            The front of the building needs a Portico* and some plantings along with removal of white paint.

            I want to see this as a model of Verizon owned buildings especially where it is on the main entryway of tourists annually going to Tanglewood.

            If I can pull you out of New York City to Lenox, I certainly can ask that you OK the project with a check!

            His reply: George- it’s nice to hear from you.  Unfortunately I am no longer responsible for the facility in Lenox.  I will forward this e-mail to the appropriate folks some of whom continue to have responsibilities for this facility.

* Portico: A structure consisting of a roof supported by columns at regular intervals, typically attached as a porch to a building.


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Posted by on July 25, 2013. Filed under Opinion,View from the Tower. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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