by larry perl
There are four oval-shaped signs, one for each entrance to the neighborhood of 135 homes, bounded by Lake Avenue on the south, Gittings Avenue on the north, Bellona Avenue on the west and York Road on the east.
The signs announce: "Historic Cedarcroft, Est. 1909," in honor of the community's historic designation earlier this year. The typeface for the word "Cedarcroft" was taken from a 1921 plat map that was used to sell real estate in the community.
Two of the signs are planted in residents' yards. The one in Tom and Jean Horrigan's yard was "unveiled" at a ceremony May 1.
"Just keeping up the tradition," Tom Horrigan said. "There was a sign when we moved here" in 1981.
A sign might seem like a small thing, but it's a sign of community pride. Homeowners paid a special assessment of $25 each to cover part of the $7,000 total cost. The rest was paid out of the budget of the Cedarcroft Maintenance Corp., a neighborhood association.
The welcome signs were designed by David Ashton & Associates, who also did signs for Camden Yards and Ravens Stadium. The iron brackets, which mimic the arch in the Cedarcroft sign, were fabricated by M&M Signs and Graphics of Chantilly, Va.
"It's a pretty special sign, but it's a pretty special neighborhood," said Bob Gray, a block captain who led the eight-month project with the help of association president Jim Green and a design team of residents.
The previous signs were showing their age.
"I don't know how old they are, but they've been there for many years," Gray said. He said the brackets were loose, the wood was weathered and the posts were loose in their holes.
"It's come up for a number of years that we need to replace the rickety signs that we have," Green said.
And how long is the estimated lifespan of the new signs?
"I hope it's 20 years," Gray said, laughing.