Block Island Beach House sign approved

For Surf Hotel
Thu, 05/30/2019 - 5:00pm

The Surf Hotel will have a new name on its Dodge Street-facing façade: Block Island Beach House. The new signage is part of Lark Hotels’ renovations of the hotel, which was built in 1876. The existing Surf Hotel sign will remain.

The Historic District Commission voted 3 to 1 to approveBlock Island Holding’s application for installing the sign. Vice Chair Martha Ball made the motion that was seconded by Dennis Riordan. Arlene Tunney dissented saying she had “a real problem” with the sign being affixed to the roof. “Nobody else in the Historic District has a sign on the roof like that.” Chair Bill Penn was absent.

The 38 square-foot white with olive colored text will be slightly larger than the existing Surf Hotel sign, which is 32 square feet, and affixed to the building’s front façade. The new carved wooden sign will be mounted on the roof and rendered in a font called Sweet Sans Pro.

Rob Blood, CEO of Lark Hotels, presented the application along with Glenn Gardiner, one of the project’s architects. Blood said the intention with the signage “was to mirror other signs in the Old Harbor district.” He said he wanted the signage to be as visible to tourists/visitors embarking from the ferry and walking up Water Street.

“How is it going to be attached to the building?” asked Tunney.

“With wood brackets,” said Blood.

“I think it will be a challenge to keep it there,” said Tunney, noting that weather could damage it.

HDC member Mark Vaillancourt echoed Tunney’s sentiments, noting that he didn’t think a wood mounted sign would last on the building. He told Blood that he should reference the aluminum sign mounted on the Block Island Maritime Institute building.

“We’ll check it out,” said Blood.

The HDC also unanimously approved signage for the property’s beach bar, at the rear of the building, which will be a wall-mounted 9.69 square-foot sign with dark blue text on a wood-colored background. The commission also unanimously approved a 12.5 square foot directional sign that will be affixed to the façade of the white cottage located at the rear of the building. That sign will have a dark blue background with different colored arrow shaped signs on it.

The commission had issues with the applicant’s proposed signage on the front porch railing, noting breakfast, lunch and dinner, cocktails, etc. The commission deferred action on the small informational signs.

“It looks like you’re putting your website on your front porch,” said Ball. “It’s a great building. Stewardship of this building is an extraordinary responsibility. I think you know that.”

“I do,” said Blood, who then asked the board for suggestions to inform the public about the hotel.

“People already know about it,” said Tunney. “I would suggest you advertise in the local paper.”

Riordan noted that the island’s organizations hang banners on the railing regarding upcoming events.

Chatowsky art gallery

The HDC unanimously approved signage for Dave Chatowsky’s art gallery, which will inhabit Carrie Todd’s newly constructed building located next to the Red Bird liquor store on Dodge Street. Chatowsky told the commission that he would be creating the signage.

The art gallery will have two wood signs affixed to it; both colored black and white, and rendered in cursive. The sign on the front of the building, the side facing the liquor store, will be 11.25 square feet, while the one on the side of the building, or Dodge Street-facing façade, will be 2.25 square feet.

Chatowsky said he wanted to “keep it simple and elegant” with the color scheme for the signage.

Odd Fellows Hall

The HDC unanimously approved multiple signs on the Odd Fellows Hall building on Water Street, including the arching Odd Fellows Hall sign itself. The black with white text sign will be 16 square feet in size and mounted on the front façade on the building’s second story. The building’s front porch will also be adorned with a sign: The Ice Cream Parlor, and a black sign with white text will reside beside the front door that reads: The Cracked Mug Café, with a series of signs beneath, denoting: Adrift Eco Boutique, Wild Flowers, Blossom, and Sunnies.   

Seeking new HDC member

The HDC is seeking a new board member. Interested applicants can inquire via the Clerk’s Office at the New Shoreham Town Hall.