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BOSTON -- Just in time for the company’s centennial, the CITGO sign in Boston’s Kenmore Square -- one of the most iconic landmarks of the city’s skyline -- will undergo a major upgrade. The 45-year-old, 3,600-square-foot sign will have all its LED lights replaced with more technologically advanced and environmentally friendly versions.
The upgrades, scheduled to begin at the end of this month, will require that the sign go dark while the work is done. However, Bostonians can be sure that when the sign is relit -- in time for the baseball playoff season -- the famous beacon will look better than ever, Houston-based CITGO said in a news release issued yesterday.
“Since 1940, when the original Cities Service sign was installed in Kenmore Square, our company’s sign has served as a landmark for Boston residents and baseball fans alike,” stated Gustavo Velásquez, vice president of supply and marketing for CITGO Petroleum Corp. “Whether as a target for Red Sox sluggers blasting home runs over the Green Monster, or a source of inspiration at the end of the grueling Boston Marathon, everyone knows and loves the sign. The 100th anniversary of the Cities Service-CITGO brand was the perfect time to give the sign an overhaul to make it shine even brighter.”
Work on the CITGO sign is being undertaken under the watchful eye of Martin Foley, the “Keeper of the Sign” since 1965. Foley has supported CITGO for more than 35 years with the upkeep of the sign, braving hurricanes and lightning storms to ensure the sign burns bright. The new upgrades will help make Foley’s job easier with more reliable, weather-resistant lights, according to the company.
More than 9,000 feet of lights will be replaced on the double-sided, 60-foot by 60-foot square sign, which is said to be the largest sign in New England. The new lights are specially designed to flex, so they can withstand the high winds and extreme temperature variations that the sign is exposed to in Boston’s variable climate -- and perhaps even a well-hit baseball, the company stated. New acrylic covers will provide brighter, more vibrant colors and stand up better to UV rays to ensure the sign shines brightly for years to come.
“The CITGO Sign has become a part of Boston and American culture,” Velásquez said. “Time Magazine, The New York Times and countless local and international artists have praised the cultural and artistic impact of the sign ... Just like the CITGO brand’s deep commitment to supporting our network of nearly 6,500 local retailers, we are reviving the CITGO sign in Boston’s Kenmore Square to help the Boston community shine brighter and stronger.”
CITGO is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.