Brookline Historic Street Signs Preserved as 'Locally Recognized Historic Districts'
The Board of Selectmen voted to maintain the historic aluminum street signs.
The Board of Selectmen voted in favor of a contract to inventory the town’s street signs in order to meet Federal Highway Administration requirements, with the exception of the historic aluminum signs.
Signs in the historic district will be subject to all Preservation Committee guidelines, including restoration, replacement and maintenance without having to meet the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Device standards.
“This is the direction that we’ve been looking for from the Board,” DPW Director Andy Pappastergion said. “With the vote from last week in support of the World Tech Engineering inventory, I think the outcome with this policy vote is a good direction.”
The Board determined that the Local Historic Districts are “locally recognized historic districts,” and that must be maintained as such.
The DPW will finish updating the 2006 cast aluminum street sign inventory for signs that were removed from service and stored at the Municipal Service Center.
“The issue of the historic streets signs is one that has been lingering for a number of years and with the cooperation of DPW and Pappastergion we have put together a policy that defines a direction for the future,” Selectmen Dick Benka said.
The town has been grappling with the issue of historic signs since 2001. In 2011, former State Senator John Kerry’s office got involved to preserve the 500 aluminum street signs. Brookline Patch reported that in his letter, Kerry wrote that, “For those who live in and travel through Brookline, the distinctive white metal street signs are in many ways landmarks that distinguish Brookline streets from the neighboring communities and recall the history of the town.”
Brookline joined Lower Marion Township, a suburb of Philadelphia in an effort to preserve their historic street signs, which are cast in iron. Officials from Lower Marion had suggested that the two communities take advantage of a recent comment period for changes to the Highway Administration’s manual for traffic devices.
“It is exciting. These signs are special,” Rob Daves, President of the High Street Hill Association said. “They remind us that we are in Brookline.”