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Bankers Row association unveils vintage sign in Medina

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    About 30 people converge on South Prospect Street to unveil the new Bankers Row Historic Neighborhood Association sign Tuesday, fittingly in front of the McDowell-Phillips house.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    The Bankers Row Historic Neighborhood Association sign is unveiled Tuesday night on South Prospect Street in Medina.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell speaks to the crowd of about 30 Tuesday night when the Bankers Row Historic Neighborhood Association sign was unveiled on South Prospect Street. Bankers Row president Beth Biggins-Ramer is on the right.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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The Bankers Row Historic Neighborhood Association sign is unveiled Tuesday night on South Prospect Street in Medina.

BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE Enlarge

MEDINA — It only makes sense that the Bankers Row Historic Neighborhood Association’s new sign has the retro feel of an old bank.

The sign was unveiled Tuesday evening in front of the McDowell-Phillips house at the corner of Prospect and Blake streets.

Artist Janet Baran, who designed the sign, said she based it on a teller’s window from Old Phoenix Bank. The former president of Old Phoenix, R.M. McDowell, owned the McDowell-Phillips house — perhaps the most recognizable and iconic dwelling in the city. It was built in 1890.

Baran, who also designed the sign for the Founders Way North Historic Neighborhood Association, said she played with several different options before deciding to go with the bank teller’s window. She said the neighborhood association and Community Design Committee also gave valuable input.

The CDC paid about $1,600 for the sign, produced by Medina Signs, Bankers Row association president Beth Biggins-Ramer said. The CDC also purchased two signs for Founders Way North.

“It’s an abstract sign,” Biggins-Ramer said. “We like to be different. It represents the uniqueness of our neighborhood. We’ve come together to create a lovely community. We have older homes and (the homeowners) are historical stewards.”

Biggins-Ramer said the neighborhood is “diverse.”

Included in the neighborhood are the Munson House and the Spitzer House, a bed-and-breakfast.

Michele Nichols, CDC board chair, said he was thrilled that so many people came out for the ceremony. Counting city officials, there were about 30 people in attendance, often times dodging traffic on South Prospect Street to witness the unveiling.

“Even the police are here in case we get too rowdy,” Nichols joked.

The Bankers Row was the fourth neighborhood association formed in the city, but the fifth to erect its sign. The others are the South Court Street, Water Tower District and the East Liberty Street organizations in addition to Founders Way North.

In the 1800s, bankers lived on West Washington and South Prospect streets. They could sit in their bank offices on Public Square and see their houses. Old Phoenix is now a Huntington Bank branch.

Biggins-Ramer said a recent potluck dinner drew 37 people from the community as neighbors continue to fund raise in an effort to eventually have signs on each of the four corners of the neighborhood.

She said the boundaries of the neighborhood are from Medina Street to South Elmwood Avenue to the south side of West Liberty Street to the north side of West Smith Road.

“That encompasses just about the entire original village,” Biggins-Ramer said.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.


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