“London has Big Ben, Paris has the Eiffel Tower. Boston has the CITGO sign.”
- Well-known Boston quote
The iconic CITGO sign has been a part of the Boston skyline since 1940. Located at 660 Beacon Street, on what was once a Cities Service divisional office, the sign originally featured the Cities Service logo, but was replaced with the famous CITGO “trimark” of today when the CITGO brand was created for the marketing division of Cities Service in 1965.
Efforts to remove the sign in the early 1980s faced fierce opposition and led CITGO to restore the sign, with groups even fighting to declare the sign a landmark. The CITGO Sign is held in particular high regard by Boston sports fans. Red Sox sluggers are enticed by the so called “C-IT-GO” sign as they blast home runs over the left-field wall, and runners in the grueling Boston Marathon welcome its sight as the 20th mile mark. Its pulsing flash in the night sky has even been used by mothers-to-be at nearby Beth Israel to time their contractions.
It’s no secret that the CITGO Sign in Boston’s Kenmore Square is beloved by people across the country and around the world. Not only has it become a major image of the city of Boston, featured in postcards and tourist brochures, but the sign was deemed an “Objet d’Heart” by Time Magazine, was photographed by Life Magazine and featured in the New York Times. It has even become a source of inspiration for artists, musicians and filmmakers from around the world.
In late July 2010, the 45-year-old, 3,600-square-foot sign had all its LED lights replaced with more technologically advanced and environmentally friendly versions. The upgrades required that the sign go dark while the work was done.
Boston residents watched excitedly as the sign was relit on Sept. 17 during the 7th inning stretch of a Red Sox home game—just in time for baseball playoff season. Today, the famous beacon looks better than ever!
Does the CITGO sign bring you fond memories? Enjoy it year round by downloading this screen saver!
It even features an authentic neon buzz.
- Click on your screen saver selection and save it to your hard drive.
- After the download is complete, right click on your desktop, select “Properties,” then select the “Screen Saver” tab.
- In the drop down box, select the new screen saver and click OK.