City leaders plan for “Gateway to Opportunity” signs to highlight Port Arthur entrances

Published 12:20 am Thursday, August 17, 2023

Approximately three years have passed since Port Arthur embarked on a project to rebrand the city with wayfinding signage to light various entrances to the region.

And now, after several setbacks with collaborating entities, the project is on track and set for completion, possibly by December, city officials said.

George Davis, director of the Pleasure Island Commission, presented an update this week to City Council, and the good news is items that were initially going to take 52 weeks to arrive have been tweaked and are arriving much sooner. As of now, the new signage is expected to be installed by December.

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The primary and secondary monuments, as they are called, are designed to highlight entryways into Port Arthur. Proposed locations include: 3918 H. O. Mills Blvd. near Texas 73, 6929 Gulfway Drive, 1785 T.B. Ellison Parkway on Pleasure Island, 2838 FM 365, 442 4th Street/city hall, and 300 Woodworth Blvd., which would welcome visitors to the historical district.

Davis said the idea kicked of in May 2020. Since that time there was a personnel chance at Texas Department of Transportation and at Entergy, both of which have a part it the project.

An artist rending of the sign for Port Arthur City Hall. (Courtesy photo)

How it began

The City entered into an agreement with Clark Condon Associates, Inc. of Houston May 26, 2020.

On May 11, 2021, Jason Miller from Clark Condon and Mark Judson of Judson Designs presented the proposed signage to council.

“We looked at several concepts with the team in Port Arthur and settled on this theme of nautical heritage of Port Arthur,” Judson told councilmembers at the time. “The concept … draws on the maritime tradition and history of the Port.”

Renderings of signs designed and shown to councilmembers last year have a new logo, font and color than those currently at various landmarks. The largest sign, called Primary Monument Signage, is lit from the inside, while Secondary Monument Signage would be on timers to be lit for contrast.

The project will be paid for by hotel occupancy tax.

Davis there is a change in the slogan. The new one, Gateway to Opportunity, is a better fit for the project and city, he said.