Revitalization

A Hopeful Sign

By Ryan McGreal
Published April 30, 2009

The Art Gallery of Hamilton just announced that they will reinstall the gallery's iconic yet short-lived sign over King Street on Sunday, May 3, 2009.

The old AGH sign, seen from the corner of King and Bay (RTH file photo)
The AGH sign, seen from the corner of King and Bay before wind blew it down (RTH file photo)

The original sign lasted only eight months after the reopening of the gallery, which was renovated according to a design by Bruce Kuwabara. Then, on February 6, 2006, the sign blew down under high winds.

Weather permitting, the installation is scheduled to start at 7:00 AM and take six hours.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2009 at 15:35:13

About time.

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By reuben (registered) - website | Posted April 30, 2009 at 15:39:18

seriously, what took so long?

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 30, 2009 at 16:52:45

let's hope the engineers took into account the fact that we get thunderstorms and odd wind gusts around 100km in this part of the world.
I'm guessing they don't do much work in the southern US or tornado alley.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted April 30, 2009 at 21:30:34

What does HDA stand for?

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By beancounter (registered) | Posted April 30, 2009 at 22:07:54

Perhaps we could ask RTH to take a picture of HDA from the east instead of the west so that it becomes AGH. lol Oh, wait, we'll have to delay that until the sign is re-installed.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted May 01, 2009 at 00:04:58

Brandon, it's HGA, not HDA, and it's AGH (Art Gallery of Hamilton) backwards.

More on the sign: I just got the following information from the media person at the AGH:


The Art Gallery of Hamilton's signature sign is made up of two main components: a heavy steel triangular beam that is 65 feet long and weighs 14,000 pounds, and three anodized aluminum letters -- A, G, and H - that are just over 5 feet tall and weigh 200 pounds each and are attached to the beam.

On February 5, 2006, the system fastening the beam to the roof failed. This partially dislodged the beam, causing it to fall on its side. This impact dislodged two of the letters.

After careful and lengthy review by a number of experts and a redesign that has been approved by the parties involved (including the Art Gallery of Hamilton, insurance companies, and the sign designers and installers), the newly designed fastening system for the sign will include a full secondary anchorage system.

In addition to having the beam attached to the roof, a system of wires will also attach the beam to the roof. In the unlikely event that the redesigned primary fastening system fails, the guy wires would keep the beam firmly attached to the roof.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 01, 2009 at 08:26:26

are they using the same type of letters that light up at night??

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By Stuck Up (anonymous) | Posted May 01, 2009 at 12:32:57

Superglue, anyone?

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 04, 2009 at 07:15:25

well, the sign is back up and looking great.

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