Town officials met with developer Greg Salvatore to discuss his plans for the iconic Lord's sign, as well as other plans for the building, on Thursday.
Lord's Department Store will be closing on Feb. 28 after 73 years in business and Salvatore Capital Partners LLC bought the retail space at the corner of Main and South Streets on Dec. 31.
"His main concern is the [new] tenants in the building get sufficient signage," said Chairman of the Downtown Study Committee Brandie Morris.
Town officials are seeking historical status for the sign that has lit up downtown for decades. If that is granted, it will help in its preservation.
"When you drive through Medfield, you know you're in Medfield when you see the Lord's sign, it's been a big part of the downtown for such a long time; I think it's really important to keep it," said Assistant Town Administrator Kristine Trierweiler.
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"There seems to be some room under existing zoning [bylaws] that, if it's used to identify the building, then it wouldn't interfere with the tenants' needs," said Matt McCormick, a member of the Downtown Study Committee and Chairman of the town's Sign Committee. "If you use that as the identification for the building [and not advertisement for a business] then it becomes a different entity."
Town officials said they would like to move the sign higher up on the building, to use it as an identifier of the building -- such as "Lord's Block" or "Lord's Shops," and that Salvatore was "very amenable" to the idea.
The legalities will have to be worked out with the developer but the sign would likely be leased back to the town which would be responsible for its maintenance.
There will be costs associated with maintenance and a "Friends of..." group will likely be started to raise money for that purpose. Some residents have already volunteered to donate to 'save the sign' but the town is still working with the Department of Revenue to make sure any donations are accepted in the right way.
Tell us: Do you think a "Friends of the Lord's Sign" should be established to maintain the neon Lord's sign? If so, would you donate to that group? Tell us in the comment section below.