HARVARD — The Historical Commission is hoping to increase the visibility of the town’s historic districts with increased signage for those entering the Shaker Hill and Harvard Common Historic Districts.
Commissioners have made a request for $8,000 from Community Preservation Act funds to fund the project.
The signs are described as being “simple black and white signs.” Commissioners hope they would not only announce the borders of the Shaker Hill and Harvard Common Historic Districts in an attractive way, but would ultimately aid any conservation and preservation efforts made on behalf of public and private property owners within these neighborhoods.
According to the application to the Community Preservation Committee, the commission believes that announcing the boundaries of the two historic districts would be the first key in creating awareness among Harvard citizens and visitors of the special significance of these two neighborhoods.
The commission believes that because of the neighborhood’s “vital” importance to the town’s past and present, the signs will serve to identify the town as a “unique and different” place worth saving for future generations.
Increased awareness of the historical significance of the neighborhoods will bring more informed choices, commissioners believe, that will continue to affect the vitality and integrity of these neighborhoods for years to come.
An additional benefit of the signs would be to serve as a “traffic calming device” as people slow to read them. Or, once they are familiar with them, to “admire them on their daily travels.”
Signs in both districts would measure approximately 30-by-45 inches and would be either carved or printed on plywood or PVC.
Shaker Hill Village would have two signs; the Harvard common district would be signed with either two or four signs, depending on cost. The cost estimate includes an order of 10 signs so that spare parts would be available for contingencies and replacement signs could be installed without delay.
The commission anticipates that the town’s Highway Department would be able to install and maintain the signs. The design costs have been donated by Doug Coots, the Historical Commission’s architect.
The commission is anticipating an award of $500 from the Harvard Women’s Club to be applied toward the cost of the signs. A presentation to the CPC will be made at its next meeting on Oct. 23.