A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Welcome to Albany: Sign’s getting replaced

Written July 2nd, 2019 by Hasso Hering

Only the posts remain of a long-standing wooden “welcome to Albany” sign on Highway 20 in North Albany.

Chances are drivers heading for the Ellsworth Street bridge on Highway 20 don’t need a sign to tell them they are entering Albany. But whether they do or don’t, the sign welcoming them to town is gone.

Councilman Bill Coburn and Ed Hodney, who retired as parks director last week, got permission from the city manager to take the sign down, I learned when I inquired at City Hall on Monday.

“We took it down because it was in such bad shape,” Rick Barnett of the parks department told me in an email Tuesday. “Xtreme Graphix is producing a new sign for now.  There is some interest in doing something more substantial, but that will take an organized effort from the service clubs.”

The old sign was repainted several times but nevertheless showed the signs of being out in the weather for roughly 25 years. Here’s what it looked like in July 2017, when I did a story suggesting it should be replaced.

And here’s a screen shot of a rendering of the sign that’s going to replace it.

Hodney had hoped to get the old sign replaced, but it didn’t quite happen on his watch. At the CARA advisory board meeting in June, he proposed modifying one of two big “wayfinding” signs planned for the downtown urban renewal district and putting it on Highway 20 instead.

Those two signs can’t be put where they were planned. One site was disallowed by ODOT. The other made no sense because it would be obscured by highway clutter and would send drivers into the parking lot at Albany Station if they did see it.

But the CARA board didn’t go for Hodney’s suggestion, leaving the downtown sign issue open and unresolved. (hh)

9 responses to “Welcome to Albany: Sign’s getting replaced”

  1. Bryan says:

    The new design shown is terrible, especially the font. Hopefully its was just a rough draft? Maybe get an actual graphic designer to do something? The city doesn’t have to do business just with companies they are cozy with. Was it put out for submittals?

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Typical Albany city government.

    Spend thousands on rebranding the city several years ago and then hang up a welcome sign that doesn’t even come close to the new, improved “brand.”

    The city says, “Our responsibility is to actively and responsively engage those we serve through professional, consistent, efficient, and accessible communication. How we talk, write, and design should reflect that commitment.”

    The only thing this sign reflects is a city government that is very confused.


  3. Eldon says:

    As a former owner of a company I worked at said” what is your better idea?”
    Please give us your better ideas for a sign.
    Respectfully Submitted

  4. Ray Kopczynski says:

    As Hasso indicated: “Xtreme Graphix is producing a new sign for now.” It’s temporary. Many ways to get involved. Guarantee you whining in a blog will accomplish ZERO…

  5. Steve Reynolds says:

    I see some signs that say Est.1864 and some 1848.I think I saw a city truck today with Est. 1864, I noticed this sign says “incorporated 1864”, is this different than established. Just curious. I appreciate the effort, it’s better than just having two old posts sitting there. I did a Google search on the top 100 best city welcome signs, and there’s some pretty cool designs out there. You ask where the city can do a better job, Ok, use the money that’s required to be spent for the police and fire station art percentages, and create some nice gateways into the city with top of line “Welcome” signs.

    • centrist says:

      Founded in 1848
      Incorporated 1864
      Quick read of a website

      • Steve Reynolds says:

        No worries, that’s what I thought. I just remembered glancing over at a city truck today and seeing the new logo and thought I saw an “est.1864”. Like I said just curious, history is always interesting.

  6. Kenneth Donaldson says:

    The sign could be much improved

  7. CHEZZ says:

    I suggest that the sign design be offered up as a volunteer opportunity. Let’s call out the artists in this community who would have a creative and warmer touch in reflecting Albany as a welcoming sign, not just a board (bored)!


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