'Borders' signs to be removed from downtown Ann Arbor store on Monday
A downtown Ann Arbor landmark will be losing some of its identity Monday when the signage is removed from the closed Borders flagship store "01" on East Liberty Street.
The owners of the building are donating the letters to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation for the purpose of raising funds.
The Binc Foundation, which Borders employees began in 1996 to help booksellers with emergency financial assistance, has expanded since the liquidation of Borders stores and now assists anyone working in bookstores nationwide.
The letters will be sold during the month of January, and anyone interested in purchasing any of the letters should email the foundation.
Pamela French, executive director of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, believes that this may be the last Borders signage remaining, since most of the other locations have been stripped.
"We are in contact with thousands of Borders alumni across the country, and although they have moved on to other jobs, their time and experiences at Borders provided very fond memories," said French. "Giving those people the opportunity to take home a small piece of the Borders they loved will be like returning these letters to their family."
Hughes Properties, based in Bingham Farms, acquired the long-term rights to redevelop the two-story, 44,000-square-foot retail space at 612 E. Liberty at Maynard, where Borders closed its doors in 2011. It was formerly the home of Jacobson's department store.
Hughes Properties has the property available for retail and office lease.
Adjacent former headquarters offices have been leased to Barracuda Networks.
"Speaking as residents of the area, it will be quite some time before Ann Arbor forgets Borders," said French.
"I doubt that the lettering on the building will make much difference. That building will be the 'Borders' building for many years to come, especially for those who worked for Borders or were long time customers."