UR Downtown, the site of several community-based programs of the University of Richmond and the Richmond on Broad café, will become more visible to pedestrians and drivers when a new sign is installed Jan. 23 on the building at 626 E. Broad St.

The sign and an endowment for additional programming at UR Downtown are being funded by a gift of $825,000 from Rob Blandford and his wife, Nancy Everett. Blandford is a 1979 graduate of the university’s Robins School of Business and serves as president and CIO of Spider Management, which oversees the university’s endowment.

The 25-ft., three-dimensional, lighted sign will hang on the corner of the building, allowing it to be seen from more than one direction. Amy Howard, executive director of the university’s Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, said the sign “serves the important function of marking the building and the café for visitors while also adding to the re-imagination of downtown.”

In a nod to a sign that hung on the building when it was Franklin Federal Savings and Loan, the new sign uses stacked, vertical lettering with a clock at the bottom. It will be lighted at night, creating more visibility for UR Downtown after dark and changing the look of Broad Street between 6th and 7th streets.

““The university is grateful to Rob Blandford and Nancy Everett for support that enables us to expand our downtown presence as a VITA site, strengthen connections between faculty across schools and community partners, and further develop educational programs for our students, faculty, staff and the community,”  said Edward L. Ayers, Richmond president.

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