Ah, the iconic Citgo sign in Kenmore Square. My parents tell me that as a child, it’s the reason I learned both the color red and the shape of a triangle. Because of its visibility from much of the city, I would shout “red triangle!” while being driven around as a kid. But like most Bostonians, I never knew the origins of one of our most well known landmarks.
The sign was originally erected as a “Cities Service” logo in 1940, which was Citgo’s original name, and replaced with the current “trimark” design in 1965. The sign was unlit in 1979 as a sign of energy conservation, but was turned back on in 1983, clearly to celebrate the year of my birth. During that time, Citgo actually was planning on disassembling the sign but was met with protests and widespread public affection for the sign. Though not an official historical landmark, it has been refurbished three times since then, most recently July of 2010, when the LED’s were replaced. The sign measures 60′ x 60′ and is the largest in New England. And now you can drop that bomb of knowledge on your friends the next time you talk a walk through Kenmore.
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