Proctor District has a new sign to welcome visitors. Located at the corner of North 25th and Proctor streets, it was unveiled during a ceremony on Nov. 30. Judi Quilici discussed her efforts writing a grant in 2010 to fund the project. Since the sign would be on city right of way, she knew there would be some complexity and sought assistance. “I needed someone with more expertise than myself.” That person was her husband, Joe Quilici, who became the project manager. He had been busy planning the Mason Plaza project next to the Wheelock Library in Proctor District. He contacted Gary Knudson, an architect who was designed Mason Plaza. The two planned out the sign project over a cup of coffee at Knapp’s. Knudson said at first they wanted to place the sign on the other side of the library, but were informed this was not available. So they lined up a spot next to the Safeway store.
While the sign is on a city sidewalk, Joe Quilici spoke to the store manager to get their approval. He referred Quilici to Jeff Parker, the regional real estate manager for Safeway, who told him to move forward with the project. Next they contacted Kerm Swartz, owner of Kerm Swartz Company, a Puyallup business that does specialized masonry systems. “He does some really great stuff,” Joe Quilici said. “He is a master of anything he does.” The lettering on the sign was done by Premier Memorial. Total costs for this sign, including permits, were about $7,200. The eventual plan is to have three more signs, located at Washington Elementary School, Proctor Square and the U.S. Bank branch. Knudson said the design ties in with the arch that Proctor District Association uses in advertising and public relations material. “It sets the theme for the perimeter of the district.” Swartz spent two weeks creating the mold for this sign. He will be able to re-use it for the other signs. He noted it took a special design to create a re-usable mold. He is pleased with how the sign turned out and how it enhances the neighborhood. “Proctor District is a real destination in the city.”