The residents of Trumansburg will be able to add a little history to their homes this year with a handcrafted sign stating the year their house was built.
On July 19, the latest of about 40 plaques was hung on Trumansburg Village Hall by Mayor Rordan Hart and Village Code Enforcement Officer Tom Myers, with the help of Village Department of Public Works Supervisor Dustin Vanderzee.
“The Plaque Project” is the effort of two local artisans, builder/carpenter Peter Cooke and artist Christopher Wolff, and Trumansburg Village Historian S.K. List.
List was also present for the hanging of the Village Hall plaque, which can now be found on the bottom righthand side of the front door.
“It’s amazing the many different styles of architecture are available in the village,” List observed.
Hart said the project has come at an interesting time. “We’re revising the comprehensive plan, and looking closely at the future, so to focus on looking back at the past—it’s neat,” Hart said.
To kick off the project, Cooke and List placed sample plaques on their own homes, 15 and 19 Cayuga Street, respectively, and Cooke produced them. They then approached Wolff, who is skilled in visual communication and vintage sign typography, and he brought his talents to the lettering.
The project is a fundraiser for programs and operations at the Trumansburg Conservatory, which currently models a bigger version of the plaque that is more suitable for larger buildings.
The project was partially inspired by an extensive study of the architecture of the village by the fourth graders at Trumansburg Elementary School many years ago. The program blended history, art, math and social studies and promoted appreciation of one’s hometown.
“It was astounding,” List said. The students would start the project in the fall by walking around the village with their teachers, stopping at various buildings and discussing the architecture of each one. By Christmas, when the students’ families came to see a presentation of the model houses the students handcrafted based on their studies, they were experts on the different styles of buildings found throughout the village.
The plaques will be available for a minimum $25 donation to TCFA, though larger donations are gratefully accepted. They are asking for a donation of $35 for the larger version of the plaque. All the plaques are the same shape and color (oval and dark green) in order to create a consistent and harmonious presentation throughout the village.
The idea seems to have already caught the interest of the public, and the goal have enough plaques throughout town that people begin to look for them, drawing attention to the diverse architectural styles seen throughout the village.
Two buildings are currently tied for the oldest year requested so far: 1808.
Orders will be accepted in first come, first served order, and can be placed by contacting Betsey Douglas via phone at (413) 801-6522 or email: email@example.com.