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Oat Foundry unveils prototype of potential new 30th Street sign

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If the group is picked to recreate a new sign, they already have a design in mind

The original sign just days before it was removed.
Anna Merriman

30th Street Station’s beloved, 1970s flipboard sign came down only two days ago, but one Philly group is already looking at ways to bring the sign—or at least its character—back to life.

On Tuesday Philly-based group Oat Foundry posted a video showing their representation of a potential replacement for the old sign, one that has the same iconic clicking sound and look as its predecessor.

Unlike the original Solari sign, which officially came down Saturday, Oat Foundry’s new design would be ADA-friendly, according to a statement from the group on Twitter. They wrote that their design could have larger letters and any font that would make it easier to read.

Amtrak hasn’t said whether they will go with Oat Foundry for a new flipboard design, but they have been in talks with the company, which specializes in split-flap displays.

Plans to replace the original flipboard were announced in November. Amtrak pointed to its deteriorating condition and inability to meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements—due to its small lettering—as reasons for taking it down. But many Philadelphians pushed back against the decision, and earlier this month, sign advocate U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle met with Amtrak officials about alternatives to removing the flipboard entirely.

Just a few weeks ago, Boyle told reporters that Amtrak was open to saving the character of the flipboard—namely, its look and sound—but not the sign itself. That’s where Oat Foundry came in. The group has been meeting with Amtrak officials this month to talk about producing a similar sign that meets necessary requirements.

Oat Foundry did not immediately respond to a request for comment or more information on the design process Monday.

  • Amtrak open to saving the character of 30th Street’s flipboard [Curbed Philly]

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