SAN FRANCISCO—Jamestown Properties, the owners of Ghirardelli Square since 2013 will renovate the structure’s massive “Ghirardelli” sign with a plan to erect a new sign later this summer.
The tall sign which illuminates the former chocolate factory turned retail complex near Fisherman’s Wharf will be transported letter by letter to an offsite facility where it will be replicated, according to Jamestown.
Jamestown President Michael Phillips said, “We are pleased to be able to preserve its significance to the square, the neighborhood, and the history of a beloved California-born brand,” said Jamestown President Michael Phillips.
The sign considered a landmark, also serves as advertising for The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, which was founded in 1852 in San Francisco by Domenico Ghirardelli. The parent organization is Lindt & Sprüngli, the Swiss chocolatier and confectionery company founded in 1845.
In 1849, Ghirardelli opened a second store on the corner of Broadway and Battery in San Francisco, which became his first establishment in the city.
The sign was completed in 1915, the year the city hosted the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, and placed atop the chocolate factory. Originally double-sided, the sign was restored in 1964, with the city-facing letters removed.
According to Jamestown, the now designated as a historic landmark, the sign will be replicated out of aluminum and new LED lights will be installed as well. The letters will be painted with a high-performance coat that replicates the original color of the letters, and the existing steel frame will be retained and repaired.
The completion of the project and unveiling of the restored sign is estimated to take place in early September.