Beloved Chamber Welcome Sign is Back

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IMG_0640-003Originally erected by the Schenectady Chamber of Commerce in 1925 behind the Van Curler Hotel, the Schenectady Chamber’s Welcome to Schenectady Sign, with its silhouette depicting the 1690 Massacre, was placed in Liberty Park at the corner of Washington Avenue and State Street in 1977. Like the replica of the Statue of Liberty, the Chamber sign was removed during reconstruction of Liberty Park into Gateway Plaza. Unlike Lady Liberty, the Chamber sign has been refurbished and returned to its old neighborhood, despite the original neglect it received on Foster Avenue.

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IMG_0645-001  The unique and much-missed sign is back a block from its old spot, at the northeast corner of State Street and S. Church Street, alongside the Kindl Building (201 State Street).  For a comprehensive history and description of the Chamber Sign, see its page at The Historical Marker Database, written with photos by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesgurg.

ChamberSignAug2008 . . ChamberSignMay2008

. . above: two photos from 2008 by Howard C. Ohlhous (full-sized versions, here and there) . . 

I’m glad the Chamber Welcome Sign is back. Thanks to the City, Metroplex, and Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corp. for supporting its return in great shape to a prominent location. Wouldn’t it be great if Mayor McCarthy comes to his senses, and brings Lady Liberty back to Her Park, rather than continuing her exile at a forlorn site alongside a train trestle, planted in a forest of poles.