Historical society signs signal continuity, change
Following two years of all-volunteer effort, new signs now stand at each of the Wilton Historical Society’s three properties: the main museum site at 224 Danbury Road, Lambert Corner and Cannon Corner.
Made possible through society supporter donations and a gift from the Elizabeth Raymond Ambler Trust, the signs were developed by a pro-bono team of local businesses.
Wilton resident Pamela Hovland provided graphics. Hovland runs her own studio practice and teaches design at Yale University School of Art.
Her designs were printed on structures drawn up by Wilton resident Bob Faesy and Rich Vail with Faesy-Smith Architects, an architectural firm in town.
The signs, constructed and installed by North Haven company SignLite, were then placed on stone bases cut from Montville, Conn. quarries by masons Nick and Gino Vona with Nick and Gino Vona, LLC. in Fairfield. Nick Vona lives in Wilton.
Also heavily involved were Wilton Historical Society Executive Director Leslie Nolan, ex-president of the society’s board of directors Greg Chann, society building and grounds manager Christopher Lavin, and board member Dr. Kevin Craw.
“The task,” as Hovland put it, “was to design a sign system that would clearly identify the three disparate Wilton Historical Society properties.”
The society’s main site, Lambert Corner and Cannon Corner are spread out along Route 7.
“In my three years since I’ve been here,” Nolan said, “a day hasn’t gone without someone asking me, ‘Lambert Corner? You own that?’”
Working closely with with the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission and staff, the Historic District Commission and the state, the committee comprised of the above-mentioned business and individuals found a way to create a system of similar signs that conformed to town and state sign regulations while also maintaining a feel that Hovland calls an “extension of the organization’s identity.”
Topping each of the signs is an ornamental silhouette that depicts the three historic buildings which, united, form the Wilton Historical Society’s main location: the Betts House, the Burt Barn and the Fitch House, named for the families who once owned them.
“I’m so happy,” Nolan said, “that we were able to find a way to have signs that reflect and incorporate our branding while symbolizing our preservation, programs and exhibits and collections efforts.”
“It’s a sign of continuity and change,” Hovland said.
According to Hovland, there is still work to be done.
“The sign system is not complete,” she said, “as there are individual building signs to be created as well as a few wayfinding signs to guide drivers through the properties efficiently.
“That phase will begin soon, but, as with many nonprofits, there are funds needed to implement those signs. It is a work in progress, but the primary signs are now in place.”
The Elizabeth Raymond Ambler Trust is a Wilton-based charity that provides funds for municipal, religious, charitable, benevolent or educational organizations or corporations.