Main Street Station

  • Location:Richmond, Virginia
  • Designer:Todd Liverman, Acorn Sign Graphics
  • Completed:2009
  • Sign Types:Monument sign, Vehicular Wayfinding and Parking Signs

Connecting a City. The Department of Economic Development of the City of Richmond, Virginia, as part of its long term growth strategy and city planning for signage, needed an iconic monument sign for the build out of a major new parking area across the street from the historic Main Street Station. The recently renovated railroad station is a National Historic Landmark (circa 1901) and currently serves as a transportation hub and office building. The new parking build out was strategically placed to serve the station and to help connect the city's Canal Walk and Slave Trail memorial with the station and surrounding areas.

Our Challenge: Create a monument sign incorporating historical and architectural elements of the station—one that seems always to have been authentic to the site and that will be so another century from now. Consider every detail, from the density of the iron fleck in the terra cotta to the engineering of placing the large, heavy sign sections.

Deliverable: Design, build and install the monument sign, maintaining intense project management to coordinate craftsmen over the course of almost a year of fabrication.

Something we think is cool: Our design inspiration comes from the beauty and durability of the original material of the Station. The sign base, like the building’s foundation, is limestone. Working closely with the only company in the United States that still makes the terra cotta used in the Station’s façade, we formed the body of the sign from this material. The carved relief in the terra cotta is designed to reflect the building’s signature architectural roof line, and the pattern also suggests the connectivity of a central transportation line. An iron trellis work frame for the sign echoes the railroad trellises all around the station. And the projection mounted cast prismatic letters complete the final touches for a timeless landmark.