(Updated – The facebook page that was protesting Chipotle’s choice of signage received this message:
“I checked with our team responsible for our Fayetteville location, and they have made the decision to remove the Chipotle sign and relocate it. The original sign was completely protected and is not damaged in any way. We are beginning this process in the next couple of days. Please tell everyone not to worry, the sign is still there! We appreciate your support, and we look forward to seeing you soon! – Ashley – Chipotle“
Well done Chipotle, well done. I am not surprised that they decided to remove the sign. They made a mistake and they did not realize it until some folks spoke up. Well done Fayetteville. I’m actually glad Chipotle moved into the location, despite the over-abundance of fast-Mexican food on Dickson. The Frisco Depot has had a run of lousy businesses filling its walls, at least Chipotle will give the spot some stability and restoration. And I didn’t hear anyone complain about the neon-monstrosity of a sign that WOW Sushi had up for months.)
Some Fayetteville residents are already concerned that Dickson Street is becoming too “commercial,” too “chain-y,” or too “consistent-quality-food-ized,” but now Dickson Street preservationists have something even bigger to worry about.
During its renovation of the old Frisco Train Depot on Dickson, Chipotle has covered up the street-facing “FAYTTEVILLE” sign with a “CHIPOTLE” sign.
Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, the building of the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad (Frisco) Depot was completed in 1925. The railroad company built it in the American Southwest/Spanish Mission style in order to distinguish itself from its rival passenger depots, an odd look at the time in the Ozarks. It was an architecturally distinctive depot, with its red clay tile roof and the brick and stucco combination exterior. Who would have known that nearly ninety years later the depot’s unusual southwest flavor would make it the perfect building for a Mexican flavored chain restaurant?
The building’s importance to the city and Dickson Street might be lost to some. The first depot was built on that location in 1882, eventually making Dickson Street the economic center of Fayetteville. The street soon became known as “Depot Town,” new businesses began to center themselves around the train station.
The “Fayetteville” signs on the depot were the first thing visitors to our town saw as they exited the Frisco railcars.
We asked @ChipotleTweets, the official twitter account for Chipotle, why they took down the front “Fayetteville” sign, I showed them before and after pictures of the building. They told us (very promptly and courteously) that only one of the three “Fayetteville” signs had been changed, and the sign was only covered and is “completely preserved.”
Couldn’t Chipotle have placed their sign below “FAYETTEVILLE” the same way the building’s previous occupiers, WOW Sushi and Haagen Dazs, did? What do you think of the sign change? Let us know. And if you feel strongly enough about it, join this group’s facebook initiative to get the sign back.