Signs of pride

Wel­come to Holme Circle: Com­munity lead­ers in Holme Circle join City Coun­cil­man Den­nis O’Bri­en, State Rep. Ed Niel­son and City Coun­cil­man Bobby Hen­on for the ded­ic­a­tion of new “Wel­come to Holme Circle” signs along Holme Av­en­ue. The Holme Circle Civic As­so­ci­ation co­ordin­ated the pro­ject with ad­di­tion­al sup­port from Aztec signs, State Sen. Mike Stack, St. Jerome’s Ro­man Cath­ol­ic Church and the Im­macu­late Mary Home.

Holme Circle is more than a traffic rout­ing mech­an­ism. It’s also a vi­brant North­east Phil­adelphia neigh­bor­hood.

Civic and polit­ic­al lead­ers re­cently erec­ted a col­or­ful new re­mind­er of that in the busy hub of the com­munity that has be­come known for its cent­ral phys­ic­al fea­ture. They ded­ic­ated two “Wel­come to Holme Circle” signs on April 19.

The roy­al blue plac­ards face east­bound and west­bound traffic on Holme Av­en­ue at the circle. That’s where Welsh and Ashton roads meet the av­en­ue in a mod­i­fied round­about in­ter­sec­tion. Mo­tor­ists on Holme who wish to stay on Holme can con­tin­ue straight through the circle. But folks on the sec­ond­ary roads and those who wish to turn must use the round­about.

Thou­sands of vehicles a day will pass the two new signs. The Holme Circle Civic As­so­ci­ation or­gan­ized the pro­ject. Mike Gould headed the com­mit­tee.

“It’s been about three years [in the mak­ing],” Gould said. “It star­ted as a beau­ti­fic­a­tion pro­ject to identi­fy the area, the neigh­bor­hood. There are oth­er parts of the city that have identi­fy­ing signs. It’s to give the neigh­bor­hood some char­ac­ter and iden­tity.”

The double-post signs are six feet wide. The plac­ards are about two feet tall and have about two feet of clear­ance above the ground. They are in­stalled on the grassy me­di­an of Holme Av­en­ue in­side the road­way circle. Vo­lun­teers planted some an­nu­al flowers in beds sur­round­ing the posts.

Aztec Signs of Wissi­nom­ing de­signed the cus­tom signs, which fea­ture the neigh­bor­hood’s name in gold, it­alicized block let­ter­ing, as well as a blue curs­ive “H” logo on a cir­cu­lar field of gold. The civic group chose the col­ors to echo Phil­adelphia’s of­fi­cial mu­ni­cip­al col­ors.

Holme Circle and Holme Av­en­ue are named after Thomas Holme, Wil­li­am Penn’s sur­vey­or gen­er­al, who is bur­ied along the av­en­ue in the Holme-Crispin Cemetery between Con­vent Av­en­ue and Long­ford Street.

“I’ve al­ways thought of Holme Circle as sort of a cross­roads. It’s dif­fer­ent from places like May­fair, Bustleton and Somer­ton,” Gould said. “[The civic as­so­ci­ation] brings to­geth­er the neigh­bor­hoods around Holme Circle.”

Be­cause the av­en­ue is a state high­way, the civic as­so­ci­ation had to ob­tain ap­provals from PennDOT and the city’s Streets De­part­ment. State Sen. Mike Stack and Reps. Ed Neilson and John Sabat­ina helped cut through the red tape on the state level. 

Loc­ally, Coun­cil­men Bobby Hen­on and Den­nis O’Bri­en ushered an en­abling or­din­ance through City Coun­cil. Sev­er­al com­munity or­gan­iz­a­tions helped the ef­fort fin­an­cially and lo­gist­ic­ally, in­clud­ing the Im­macu­late Mary Home and St. Jerome Par­ish, which provides the hall for the civic group’s monthly meet­ings.

Gould, the civic as­so­ci­ation vice pres­id­ent, chairs the group’s Beau­ti­fic­a­tion Com­mit­tee with help from civic group Pres­id­ent Elsie Stevens and Board Mem­ber Joe Raz­ler. ••

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