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Boston - Kenmore Square: Citgo | by wallyg
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Boston - Kenmore Square: Citgo

Kenmore Square exists at the intersection of several Beacon Street, Commonwealth Avenue and Brookline Avenue, abutting Boston University and serving as a transportation hub for nearby Landsdowne Street and Fenway Park.


The large, double-faced sign featuring the Citgo "trimark" logo has become a landmark, partly because of its visibility over the Green Monster during televised Red Sox games.


The current 60 ft x 60 ft incarnation, unveiled in March 2005 after a six-month restoration project, features thousands of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs were selected for their durability, energy efficiency, intensity, and ease of maintenance. Earlier versions featured neon lighting; the previous sign contained some 5,878 glass tubes with a total length of over five miles.


The first sign, featuring the Cities Service logo, was built in 1940, and replaced with the trimark in 1965. In 1979 Governor Edward J. King ordered it turned off as a symbol of energy conservation. Four years later, Citgo attempted to disassemble the weatherbeaten sign, and was surprised to be met with widespread public affection for the sign and protest at its threatened removal. The Boston Landmarks Commission ordered its disassembly postponed while the issue was debated. While never formally declared a landmark, it was refurbished and relit by Citgo in 1983 and has remained in operation ever since. Citgo is now a subidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. and in 2006, Jerry McDermott, a Boston city councillor, proposed that the sign be removed in response to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's insults toward America . McDermontt also suggested draping an American flag or Boston Red Sox banner over the sign until Chavez is out of office.

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Taken on May 28, 2006