Though native-born, I have lived away from Warren for a quarter-century. On visits, I am made uncertain of locations of some businesses, etc., because of physical changes. Accordingly, some of my observations are those of a visitor, a tourist.
Standing at Market Street and Sixth Avenue, my son Mike and I discussed the issue of the Crary sign while in plain view of the Crary building itself - which now has no sign. I looked at it anew.
My first thought was, "What the heck IS that?"
As a native and a follower of local news through the Times Observer's all-access subscription, I know what it is.
But visitors do not.
The point: This open-to-the-public building, in a neighborhood of stately homes and single-purpose offices, needs to have a sign. It cries out for a sign. Potential visitors, including area residents, simply do not know what is inside.
Yes, the Crary people made a mistake, one born out of ignorance of the law or possibly out of a shrugging off of the need to be accountable to others for what is done with "private" property. But no property is truly private. We live in communities, not on islands.
The Council and Planning Commission ought to assist residents and visitors alike in finding our way around Warren. The Crary building's need for a sign is just as basic as were the "Market Street" and "Sixth Avenue" signs standing next to where Mike and I were talking.
Yes, a sign needs to conform to standards. A jumble of juxtapositions, a visual jungle, only adds to confusion.
But it really, really does need a sign saying, "Art gallery. Tourist attraction. Cultural asset. Come on in!"
Let's all work to get one there, and soon.