Historic Bellingham Landmark Being Restored
The Historic Herald Building
Located in downtown Bellingham, WA is an eight-story office building that was originally constructed for the Bellingham Publishing Company. The historic Herald sign was part of the original construction, which was completed in 1925. The sign was a stunning piece of industrial art, visible for miles around. It was originally constructed of steel and it’s 10 foot high letters were illuminated with more than 500 incandescent light bulbs. It is believed that the sign was retrofitted to it’s current red neon illumination in the mid 50’s.
The lit sign, which is situated on the rooftop, projects high above the building and served sailors as a navigation aid for many years. To this day, you can still find the sign on many navigational maps due to it’s high visibility. Morse Hardware had a similar sign reading “MORSE” on top of it for decades – and boaters would use the two signs at night for navigation.
In 2009 Bob Hall and David Johnston bought the building from The McClatchy Co., owner of The Bellingham Herald, and began a major restoration of the aging building. In 2013 they began a nearly $1 million renovation of the first floor. In 2014 The Herald Building was approved to be on the National Register of Historic Places; giving it greater cachet as an important landmark and putting it in line for financial benefits, including tax credits on renovation expenses.
In July of 2016
Daylight Properties and Signs Plus teamed up to perform a complete restoration of the Bellingham Herald rooftop sign. The aging sign will undergo a long list of work, including running updated electrical feeds up to the sign, preserving and painting the massive 40’ high x 40’ long steel structure, and all new replica HERALD letters constructed from aluminum to replace the rusting and deteriorated steel letters. The new letters will be fitted with energy efficient LED neon lighting technology that will be capable of being controlled by a smart phone app.
Keep checking back for progress photos of this exciting project!