William & Main

Stopped. Watched. icon

2:28 p.m. Beer Depot sign just fell down. It’s lying askew in the lot – snapped off at the base, which appears quite rusted out, now that we can see the inside of the metal post. Occurred perhaps half an hour ago or so. The store employees are cleaning up the broken glass. [photo] [photo] [photo] [photo] [photo]

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  1. April 15, 2011 at 2:41 pm | permalink

    It seems unlikely that this happened at 4:28pm on 15 April, as it is currently 2:41pm on 15 April. Unless you are ingesting the melange?

  2. April 15, 2011 at 2:42 pm | permalink

    That was a quick correction!

  3. April 15, 2011 at 2:55 pm | permalink

    Aye yi yi that’s terrible. My understanding of old signs like this one, Big Ten Party Store’s, and the Arby’s on Wasthenaw is that while they’re not up to modern code they’re grandfathered in because they were installed before code updates. I remember when the Big Ten Party Store became Morgan & York there was concern about the future of the sign. If memory serves correctly they quickly clarified that they wouldn’t be taking it down but they also wouldn’t be renovating it since renovations would require it to be brought up to modern code which wasn’t feasible. Might spell a rough road ahead for the repair of this sign though I do very much hope a solution can be found.

  4. By Mary Morgan
    April 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm | permalink

    I was able to swing by and snap some photos as two guys from Jan Signs were hoisting it into their truck with a winch. It was quite damaged – hard to believe it could be restored at any reasonable cost.

  5. April 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm | permalink

    @Phil – without looking up the standards for any given sign, that sounds right. It’s usually the zoning/sign ordinance that says these signs are too big or in the wrong place – geometric issues rather than, say, electrical code – and can be allowed to remain in place for the rest of their natural life, but not replaced or structurally altered so as to extend their lives.

    Ypsilanti has a similar issue with “non-conforming” signs like those at Tap Room, Terry Bakery — there’s a code revision working its way through the process there that would allow for signs to be individually designated as having “local significance” and repaired/updated despite their non-conformance. The fear was that exactly such a situation as this would arise and we’d lose a landmark.

  6. By Spencer
    April 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm | permalink

    Glad I already got this photo, then. [link]

  7. By Ross Orr (Voxphoto)
    April 16, 2011 at 11:16 pm | permalink

    Ack! Let me add my daytime view [photo] to Spencer’s.

  8. By Wystan Stevens
    April 17, 2011 at 3:56 pm | permalink

    Perhaps the bidders on that traveling TV show who are said to have designs on the zingy YPSI-ARBOR bowling alley sign (on Washtenaw) will want to add this one to their shopping list?