The new Upland Columbus Pump House will have signs outside the brewhouse, but they won’t be directly on the historic building.

The new restaurant and bar opened July 1 as the only waterfront restaurant along the East Fork White River, located in the city’s former water plant and senior center. Local businessman and developer Tony Moravec purchased the Pump House property last year and redeveloped it as an Upland brewhouse facility.

Upland Brewing Co. president Doug Dayhoff received unanimous approval last week from Columbus Plan Commission members to place two signs on frontage areas of the facility, one on a fence on the northern portion of the property, and another on the trash receptacle enclosure on the south side of the property.

The waiver request for the signs needed to go through the plan commission as the company was requesting the two free-standing signs on a 1.94-acre lot that did not have the 20-foot building setback required in the city’s zoning ordinances. The city normally requires a 2-acre lot for free-standing signs.

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Another reason for the request was that Moravec had agreed in the purchase of the historical building to abide by the direction and approval of the Indiana Landmarks organization in the renovation of the building for Upland, which included agreeing that no signs would be placed directly on the building and that signs would not obstruct any view of the building.

Based on a 2015 easement agreement between Indiana Landmarks and the city, Indiana Landmarks is legally obligated to review and authorize all exterior work on the Pump House, according to Mark Dollase, vice president of preservation services for the Landmarks organization.

Both signs that were approved are rectangular and feature the Upland logo. One of the signs will be placed in the perimeter fencing that divides the property from the railroad tracks which pass by the Pump House. The other is directly on an enclosure which faces incoming traffic on Jonathan Moore Pike heading into the city.

In the application, Upland asked the commission to consider that in order to be successful in the location, the Pump House must be easily viewable by the public.

“This issue is particularly important with an operation like ours, which hopes to generate and capture travelers and tourists who might not otherwise intend to stop in downtown Columbus,” Upland representatives wrote in the application.

The application said the signs would be made of high quality, architecturally interesting materials and would be integrated with landscaping and hardscaping, making them aesthetically pleasing, the application stated.

City-County Planning Director Jeff Bergman said the city’s planning department felt the request satisfied a requirement that the request serve the intent of the zoning district which is commercial downtown. Bergman said the signs would identify the business for people going by along State Road 46, thereby increasing visitors to the downtown area.

Plan commission member Sondra Bolte said Upland’s proposal seemed like a good solution to the question of how to have signage on the property, but not on the building.

About the Upland Columbus Pump House

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.