Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


August 29, 2013

9 years in making, Main Street banner scales new heights

Promotional sign hung in time for Andover Day


Another warrant article to provide nearly $50,000 in funding for the installation of two poles to hold the banners was withdrawn.

“We didn’t want to kill the bylaw,” Spencer said.

Then, it was back to selectmen — this time for approval to form a committee that would raise money for the poles, which at the time the group thought were needed.

That’s when the effort stalled because the banner committee couldn’t find a good place to mount the poles that wouldn’t interfere with underground utilities.

“We were dead in the water,” Spencer said. “I thought it was over. We couldn’t find a place to put the poles and even if we could, we couldn’t figure out how we were going to raise the money for them.”

In October 2010, Spencer got an email from Merit Tukiainen, former owner of Night & Day, a specialty store for women’s lingerie on Park Street that closed in 2011. Tukiainen, still active in town affairs including Andover Day, suggested Spencer contact Belhumeur of CHB Enterprises of Swampscott, the owner of 1 and 8 Main St., two buildings on opposite sides of the main thoroughfare through downtown.

Belhumeur agreed to let Spencer and his group install brackets on his buildings, which now hold the removable steel cables for the banners to be flown.

“Merit called me, out of the blue, so I called Tom,” Spencer said. “He needs to get a lot of credit.”

Working closely with Mark Baldwin of Baldwin Crane in Wilmington as well as his engineer, Jeff Berry, they figured out a way to put up the banner without a lot of fuss.

As he was renovating 1-7 Main St., home of the Bridal Center, Belhumeur had brackets installed on the corner of the building. Across Main Street, Berry suggested putting brackets on the Barnard Building, which had easy access via the roof of the adjacent, one-story building at 4 Main St., home to the former Andover Gift Shop.

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