By Tom Mitchell

We are closing in on plans for a new sign for UUMC at Trinity and Washington.

This replaces the two existing signs (the old, steel and stone foundation sign from the 1950’s and a newer, maroon sign, taller and narrower).  Problems with the existing signs are their deteriorating interiors and appearance, narrowness of newer sign prohibiting any long words to be shown, letter rack on old sign falling apart, neither sign in best location for visibility.

Several options for the layout of the sign are under consideration.  These are included in a binder in Fellowship Hall.  The cover of the binder shows a “Photoshop” image depicting one of the designs as if it were already in place.

The sign will be metal, standing on two 18-inch metal posts.  The interior will be backlit by LED lights timed from dawn to dusk, which will illuminate the wording and logos.  The width of the sign is about 9 feet, and the height about 5.  The sign will be a few inches deep, and have content only on the front side of the sign.

The sign will be placed at the brow of the lawn, facing square onto eastbound Washington. This provides best visibility from eastbound Washington, and imperfect but best possible visibility in both directions on Trinity, both for pedestrians and cars.

The placement of the new sign and removal of the old opens up our lawn at the corner for better use.

The sign will consist of three panels, which can be independently replaced or updated, by unscrewing and pulling out.  One panel has the church name, and presumably needs little updating.  A second panel has our tag line, worship time and web site.  We envision that seasonally we could have a modified message on alternate panels.  The third section contains the logos.  These will be built pop-out several inches, and with colored inserts to display the logos.

We do not have final plans on the landscaping and/or skirt for the sign.  Ideas are:  low-lying plantings, or stone surrounding each leg or continuing between the legs.

In late 2015 UUMC was awarded a $2,500 grant from the Missouri Untied Methodist Foundation, based on a request submitted of $3,830, subject to us finding the difference of $1,330.  In 2016 we had initial discussions on signage update, and raised, quietly, $1,415 to do the match asked for by MUMF.  The $2,500 was received early 2017.  Of the $2,500, $1,660 was budgeted for a sign, based on a quote obtained by UUMC.  Several other smaller projects for signage and promotion of the church were in our proposal.

We were very naïve about signage costs --- Looking for a high impact, quality sign was going to cost much more, in the range of $5,000 to $15,000.  For example, the yellow and brown signs for the 570 Wash U. building across Trinity cost about $15,000 each.  The learning about our misestimate became apparent as most of the firms we requested proposals from declined to bid or referred us to other vendors.

We have been working with SOI Signs fruitfully for several months, including their visiting University City staff concerning design of the sign and University City regulations affecting our project.

The Leadership Council has approved the basics of the plans for the new signs and our financial plan for it.  There will be a final review and approval process at the appropriate time.

Here is our financial plan for funding the sign:

  • Quoted cost for sign, excluding electrical, permitting, skirt, removal of existing signs: $8241
  • Estimated cost of items not included in quote:   $1259
  • Total cost: $9500


  • MUMF Grant   $1660
  • Funds from congregation in hand: $2415
  • Memorial Funds: $2925
  • New fund raising needed for the sign: $2500
  • Total funding: $9500

We are looking for donors to get us the finish line.  We will take gifts of any size, but are suggesting gifts in the $100 to $500 range.

Gifts should be directed to UUMC with the notation “Signage Fund 4.95.26”