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March 2, 2013

Landmark Newburyport sign to be fixed

NEWBURYPORT - The restaurant 17 State Street, the venue formerly occupied by Fowle’s, will be repairing its above-the-street sign that was defaced during a recent storm.

Heather Paterson, general manager of the eatery, said discussions are taking place between restaurant managers and the owner of the building, the Newburyport Development company.

She indicated that repair work will start when a plan has been finalized.

The sign, which has faded over the years, has long been a fixture in downtown Newburyport. The sign stretches the length of the building, and a large section of paint was chipped off by high winds that whipped through the downtown.

A prominent neon sign, which was not damaged, juts out from the building edifice. It is the last of its kind in the city’s downtown.

The building at 17 State St. had been home to Fowle’s News since 1903, although the history of the newsstand dates to 1852. Since the 1920s, half of the building’s ground-floor space had been utilized as a soda fountain and restaurant, with various owners changing the look and the offerings through the years. The other half had housed the newsstand, until it closed last year.

The entire floor is now a restaurant, though the soda fountain and old booths have been preserved. 17 State Street has recently been offering live entertainment on weekends, restaurateurs there report.

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