Give me a K...give me an N...give me an S... What’s that spell? Kensington.
At the August 13th meeting of the Kensington-Talmadge Planning Committee, Louise Guarnotta, the treasurer for the Kensington-Talmadge Community Association, updated the committee about an inspection performed on the flickering and faltering Kensington sign.
The inspection wasn’t good: the Kensington sign — on Adams Avenue just past I-15 — is in bad shape. The poles need to be replaced or completely restructured. The cables suspending the sign are rusted out and either need to be replaced or the rust needs to be removed and then a protective coating applied to the entire length of the cables. The cabinetry that houses the neon lights is more like a makeshift tomb for dead pigeons than anything else.
“Every time a light went out, a pigeon gave their life,” said Guarnotta. “The inspectors opened up two bays and said there were dead pigeons everywhere, and the acid from the droppings were eating away at the insides of the sign.”
The sign experts concluded that either a new sign was needed or all structural elements inside the cabinetry — along with the poles and the cables — should be repaired.
The Kensington-Talmadge Community Association has been taking care of the sign since the 1950s. Over the past two years, they have collected over $80,000 in county grants and donations from the community to replace the sign.
There is one problem: the city has denied permits for replacement as well as any major restoration work on the sign. A few months back, the Historical Resources Board deemed the sign historical, preventing the community association from proceeding with any major projects.
In October, the grant from the county will expire, and a few residents have asked for their money back.
This reporter called the community association to find out more details; specifically, how much the inspection cost the community association.
“That’s none of your business,” said a member of the community association who identified herself as the wife of the association’s president, Dr. Harold Koenig. “It’s hysterical that people are all revved up about this. We just want the sign fixed or replaced, and I’m sick of all this sensationalism. It’s not that big of an issue.”
Despite the opinion of Dr. Harold Koenig’s wife, all signs point to this being a touchy subject in the Kensington-Talmadge area. For more on the Kensington-Talmadge Planning Committee, follow the signs on the Kensington-Talmadge Maintenance Assessment Districts website, talmadge.org.