It’s particularly thrilling when someone hits a home run and, as the ball nears the sign, fans yell out ‘See it go!’
The sign is on a building belonging to Boston University. The university intends to sell that property, potentially leaving the sign in limbo.
New owners might take it down or have it moved elsewhere. Despite efforts in 1983, Citgo sign fans have been unable to persuade the Boston Landmarks Commission to grant it landmark status, thereby protecting and ensuring its future.
A petition to grant preservation status now has more than 5,000 signatures. That healthy response has resulted in the Boston Landmarks Commission to vote unanimously to examine the possibility of granting it landmark status. On July 14, 2016, the Boston Preservation Alliance explained:
This is just the first step to designating the sign an official Boston Landmark. Within a few months, another vote by the Landmarks Commission is required, and the Mayor and City Council will need to approve official designation.
You can read more at the Alliance’s website and find out more about this American icon.
Never mind that Citgo has been owned by Venezuela’s PDVSA — specifically, PDV America, Inc. — for many years. Citgo started life as Cities Service Company in 1910. It was a highly successful corporation that supplied gas and electricity to small public utilities, furnished 100-octane aviation gasoline to bomber jets in England during the Second World War and had many petrol stations across America. The photo at right shows one of them. The sign was a trefoil shape, white with green trim and lettering.
PDVSA did not enter the picture until 1986, with a 50% share in the company, by which time Cities Service had been rebranded as Citgo. In 1990, the Venezuelan state oil company took full ownership through its American subsidiary.
Returning to Boston and the topic at hand, millions of us around the world hope that the Boston Landmarks Commission, the City Council and the Mayor ensure that the Citgo sign remains in situ for many generations to come.
Photo credits: Wikipedia