Design Review Board

Level 1: Sign


Staff Recommendation for Level 1: Sign

Staff recommends approval of Certificate 1-B-22-DT, subject to one condition: 1) applicant provide revised wall sign proposal which reduces the number of connection points/new holes drilled into the exterior limestone veneer, or provide a revised sign design which minimizes the effect on historic limestone veneer elements.

Applicant Request

New signage package for adaptive reuse of Tennessee State Supreme Court building and adjacent office tower. Signage includes three new signs: two wall signs and one projecting/blade sign.

Wall sign 1: to be located on the left side of east elevation (original building façade, fronting Locust Street). Wall sign measures 3.5' tall by 10' wide (35 sq. ft.) and features gold script lettering, which will be attached to the exterior limestone cladding.

Wall sign 2: to be located on the right side of west elevation (fronting Henley Street). Wall sign to measure 2.5' tall by 7.5' wide (18.75 sq. ft.) and features gold script lettering, attached to the exterior cladding.

Projecting sign: to be located on southwest corner of building (fronting Henley Street and Cumberland). Projecting sign measures 24.5' tall overall (19' tall letters with 5.5' of total additional detail on top and bottom) and 3' wide (73.5' sq. ft.). Sign features internally illuminated letters with additional lighting via gold tube lights with opaque white minimal bulbs at the end.

Proposed dimensional metal lettering for wall signs revised to be acrylic letters painted gold and mounted flush to wall to meet condition of approval.

Site Info

The property is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places so the Historic Resources section of the guidelines does not apply. The building is considered "eligible" for the National Register.

While the projecting sign is significantly larger than the 9 square feet recommended in the design guidelines, it is appropriately scaled to the multi-story building and intended to be visible from Henley Street and Cumberland Avenue.

One wall sign is proposed for the east elevation, which is the original façade of the Tennessee State Supreme Court building. The sign is proposed to be fixed directly to the historic limestone panels, which will require multiple new connection points (most likely holes drilled into the wall) to receive the sign. No existing holes are currently visible on the area to receive the sign. The limestone panels also have very narrow
"joints" which would most likely not suffice as connection points for the new sign. As the limestone cladding is the primary character-defining feature of the building, all efforts should be made to reduce the number of connection points for the proposed wall sign, or the sign could be redesigned as a projecting or window sign to reduce impact on the building's historic materials. The applicant should provide information on how they intend to reduce the number of connection points/new holes drilled into the exterior limestone veneer, or provide a revised sign design. Such information will be also relevant to the wall sign fronting Henley Street.


Robin Easter, Robin Easter Design

Planning Staff
Lindsay Crockett
Phone: (865) 215-3795
625 Cumberland Ave.

Industrial Development Board, City of Knoxville