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Ever since 1965, the CITGO sign has held a place deep in the hearts of Boston residents.
Photographs of the sign appear on postcards, in newspapers, movies, books, tourism brochures and even in Life magazine. During the day, the CITGO sign sits impressively on its perch in Kenmore Square. At night, its pulsing red, blue and white neon are visible for miles around. Red Sox fans can't see past left field at Fenway Park without taking in the majestic sign.
Runners in the Boston Marathon all have a story about the sign.
"I saw it in my 20th mile, looming like a pyramid above Kenmore Square. It gave me strength, and I knew the race's end was near," said one marathon runner.
A Sign Of The Times
CITGO decided to dismantle the deteriorating sign in 1983, but the people of Boston came to its rescue. Claiming the sign was an excellent example of urban neon art, and as Boston as baked beans, they stopped the demolition crew. Groups fought to have the sign declared a landmark.
It quickly became clear Bostonians were fond of their sign. CITGO refurbished the sign and, with the flip of a switch, Kenmore Square was bright again in the night sky.
Today the sign still blinks out its message - lifting a name, personality and friendly face high in the Boston sky.