Public forum about proposed sign at VMFA draws huge crowd

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's too big and doesn't mesh well with the historic district. That's what people said at a public forum Tuesday night about a proposed sign for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The new sign would stand 15 feet tall. Museum Director, Alex Nyerges said a tall sign would be helpful to visitors who may not see a short one over cars parked along the street. But people who live here say it's not appropriate for the neighborhood.

The proposal: a state-of-the-art, 15 foot tall, high def, digital electronic sign. More like a huge static TV on the Boulevard said Raymond Fauber.

"I don't feel it's appropriate to have a giant five foot by eight foot digital photograph in the middle of the road," said Fauber.

More than one hundred people met with the Director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts about the sign.

"We are facing a race with two of the most important exhibitions in the history of this museum to ever come down the line," said Nyerges.

Including Picasso next month. Nyerges said it's important visitors know where the museum is, because right now the number one complaint is that people can't find the building.

"We will see more people in the next five months than we've probably ever seen in a year," said Nyerges.

While some don't mind it.

"We like the idea of a sign that promotes events in the museum," said one woman.

Others said the proposal needs to be fine tuned.

"The physical design of it doesn't bother me as much as the height of it. I don't think it needs to be that tall," said Betty Booker.

"It's not up to the level of this building and I think it lacks imagination," said Andy McKinney.

"I strongly disagree with the sign. I support a way finding sign but not something that's advertising," said Brian Spencer.

The museum and State Department of General Services will take the comments into consideration and make a decision as to whether to move forward with what's on the table or make changes.

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