Foreman Fabricators Helps Build Real Work of “A-R-T” in Grand Center District.
The Grand Center District is an arts and cultural area in Midtown St. Louis, billing itself as, among other things, “the intersection of art and life”. With the Fabulous Fox Theater as a focal point, the community is a thriving hot spot for cultural events, music, theater, museums and galleries, attracting over a million visitors each year.
Now the area has a new attraction that’s gaining attention…a huge, colorful lighted sign at 3526 Washington Avenue that lights up the area across from the Fox with a simple message: “ART”. This fantastic signage display was conceived by Jasmine Aber of CEL (Creative Exchange Lab) and Derek Lauer at Lauer Architecture Progressive Design. With the concept, design and architectural drawings in hand, the Lauer Architectural team choose Foreman Fabricators to manufacture the framework for the sign, onto which the lighting would be affixed.
Foreman’s team began by doing a field verification of the measurements in the architectural drawings, and made minor adjustments to ensure that mounting brackets could be placed in secure positions on the building site, and that other key elements of the design would be visibly unimpeded for the best possible aesthetic appeal. The sign frame itself needed to be built with ¾” galvanized tubing to meet the engineering specifications of the project, and to best work with the LED lighting system that was to be attached to the frame. The tubing size was somewhat unique in and of itself, so Foreman Fabricators had to make custom connectors to join the piping lengths. Each letter was constructed of 7 rows of tubing run parallel, side-by-side and atop each other to give the creation a 3-dimensional effect. The lengths of galvanized tubing were rolled to different radiuses, or curved shapes, to soften the shapes of the letters and add to the effect of depth. The finished product was so big that Foreman built it in sections which could be spliced together in the field upon installation. The “A” was made in 5 sections, the “R” in 4 sections, and the “T” in 4 sections, for a total of 13 large sections that had to fit and assemble perfectly at the installation site.
Once Foreman had completed the fabrication of the sign frame in its various sections, an LED contractor installed lights onto the framing and ensured each section could easily plug and connect together during the onsite installation. Foreman personnel were on hand to assist, making minor additions and adjustments to the frame to best accommodate the needs of the lighting installation contractor. When all the components were ready and the lighting was all strung, Foreman coordinated the installation, using Hubzco, Inc. as the sub-subcontractor. The finished product is over 30’ tall by 50’ wide, so you can’t miss it next time you’re driving by the Fox theater after dark on an event filled night. It’s a beautiful, eye-catching piece of signage that highlights the theme of the Grand Center District.