A sign for the times

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On July 10, the Florida campus unveiled a new sign viewable from a mile away. The new mark on the Davis Building prominently displays “Mayo Clinic” day and night to those traveling the busy highway to and from the coastal communities.

sign install
A new sign is installed atop the Davis Building on the Florida campus.

And, it’s not just a standard sign with letters on a building – it’s an aluminum and screen wall 18 feet high and spanning 90 feet between two elevator penthouses. It was built in four panels anchored through the roof and tied to the structural steel. The panels were each raised and lowered into place by a helicopter.

The technology is similar to the display on top of Mayo Clinic Hospital in Arizona. It uses perforated film allowing LED lights to shine through it creating a white illuminated letter at night. During the day, only the blue film color is visible, displaying blue letters.

However, the sign in Florida had to meet one criteria that wasn’t necessary in Arizona: it had to withstand 120-mph wind loads in case of a hurricane. It also had to be visible from a mile away. To test the legibility of the letters at that distance, full size test banner letters were temporarily mounted and checked from one of the significant distance points – the San Pablo Bridge.

The original mark on the Davis Building displayed “Mayo” for about 10 years. It was removed about two years ago while a new solution was designed.

This article was submitted by Kathy Barbour, Public Affairs communication consultant in Mayo Clinic in Florida.

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