Campaign launched to save Citgo sign

The Boston Preservation Alliance is looking for names on a signature to help convince the Boston Landmarks Commission to designate the iconic Kenmore Square sign as an official city landmark, now that Citgo and the new owner of the building the sign sits on are unable to agree on how much rent the sign is worth.

Also see: Campaign to Save the Citgo Sign.



Free tagging: 


Stop it, already!

It's a stupid corporate sign, owned by a corrupt goverment. It isn't worthy of landmark protection. If that happens, Citgo stands to save a ton of cash since the new owners of the building won't be able to raise the rent for the space as high. Boston owes Citgo nothing and landmark status should represent more than "we're used to it".

Have sign in Kenmore is great. Just put an alternative Neon/LED sign that represents Boston. "Welcome to Boston", "Go Sox", etc. Lots of creative uses for that space that isn't corporate necrophilia.

It's not like it's the original Citgo sign anyway.



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Boston owes Citgo nothing

It's not exactly an "owes" thing, but Citgo provided oil at a discount to Citizens Energy/Joe 4 Oil, which provided heating oil to low-income residents. So it's not as if they've never done anything for anyone here.


Oil stolen from poor people

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Oil stolen from poor people in a poor country to give to richer poor people in a rich foreign country for political influence. Yeah, nothing shady or immoral there.



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One of Joe Kennedy's past ads indicated he went to every major oil company and only one, Citgo, responded.

Counter Point

I like it. I've liked it since I was little, and I am old.

It is as much a part of the Boston Streetscape as the Old North Church (Evil Religion!, well Episcopalian (I'm Kidding)), the Lights at the Top of the Old Hancock (Evil Insurance!), the Gas Tank (Another Evil Energy Corporate Logo! The Horrah!), or the Zakim (A Thing That Is Used By Things Using Evil Petroleum, Sold By Evil Petroleum Companies!).

I went to Florence (Italy, not Northampton). Along with all of the churches, stores, squares, and other city streetscape, there is a big ass sign for Martini right in the center of town. It does not look out of place owing to the beauty of its' design (owned by a booze company! The Horrah again).

The Citgo sign is something that is unique to Boston in a country where the city's skylines kind of blend together. I got stuck with a blown engine out in Western MA and I was broke many years ago. Coming out of the tolls at Allston in the tow truck and coming up the hump towards Nickerson Field, the sign was a most welcoming site in the early Spring twilight.

You can rant and rave against whatever tyrant is in charge in Venezuela and the fact that Citgo is in Houston. This is Boston, and I like it.


Whatever, sir. I don't

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Whatever, sir. I don't believe that is the case.


The idea of a bright sign in Kenmore Sq is great. All of what you mentioned above would be true if the Citgo part was replaced by something else in the same physical footprint. A brightly lit towering sign should be a landmark, not specifically the logo currently shown.

All of your examples (except Martini) are of civil or structural landmarks and not corporate ones. Even the Ho-Chi-Minh gas tank isn't a Eversource logo.

Boston has so much history and notoriety. Why should our landmark be of a company which has such little connection to the city?


Jesus Kind Of Stuck Around Palestine

While, some Mormons may disagree with me, it wasn't like he was walking down Peterborough Street one day long ago and we decided to put up all these phallic symbols dedicated to him. They scrape the sky as well.

The Cortia Kent design was used as the Boston Gas secondary logo for years by the way.


I don't worship in the church of the corperation

As an atheist I'd still be fine with the Citgo sign being replace by something religious. A neon Pope Francis would actually be fitting given Boston's large Catholic population and the current Pope's compassionate slant. (I'm not suggesting that, BTW, but it's preferable to Citgo.)

Why do you think the the Citgo logo is so important compared to any other neon image in that same space?

What happens if Citgo goes

What happens if Citgo goes out of business, or decides it's not worth paying to operate a sign that advertises a product barely present in New England anymore?

Things change. Cities change. Kenmore used to have lots of signs like this. Should we have poured amber over them all?


Hugo Chavez, no thanks.

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Hugo Chavez = Citgo ....

the citgo sign is not a landmark. it is an embarrassment to my city.


The sign has been there a

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The sign has been there a long time, people like it. It's etched into the skyline and the hearts of people who actually like this city, unlike some of the people commenting above. Lighten up already! You're worse than the damn puritans!


It's more than just a sign

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It was cleverly positioned to be visible for long distances. You can see it on Comm Ave all the way out to Packards Corner and up Beacon, most of the way to Coolidge Corner. It's cool. It's iconic. It's memorable. To me it's more like architectural art than "advertising". Keep it!


Some of my favorite Boston photos

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Some of my favorite photos are ones that I've taken shortly before or after sunset, looking more or less east toward the Citgo sign.

At some point I should see how the various "landmark" commissions define "landmark". My own bar is admittedly low, but I have at various times considered structures as mundane as the Federal Reserve Bank to be landmarks - simply because I have seen it catch the sun at a certain angle when I'm driving into the city from the west, late on a summer day. Landmarks are personal, I guess, much like pizza.

Why specifically Citgo?

If the sign was kept but replaced by an alternate, Boston specific neon/LED design would it not be just as iconic and memorable?


Go Sox

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I'd love it if the Red Sox owners would step up and buy the sign. You could change it to the Red Sox logo and replace "Citgo" with "Go Sox", without changing the color scheme.

Maybe it would be just as

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Maybe it would be just as iconic and memorable. If replaced today we'd have to time travel ahead 52 years to find out though.
The folks who don't care for it, is it a "Chavez" thing or a corporate thing? Or both?
I think alot of people have an affinity for neon/LED signs that carry over from childhood. I know myself I loved the old Hatoff's and Fontaine's Chicken signs as a kid. And if you were also a Sox fan from young age? Double up the love for the Citgo sign.

What I find interesting

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What I find interesting is that BU is selling land in Kenmore Square. Universities usually buy land and hold it forever, especially land so near their campus.


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How about getting Sears to put up a 'Kenmore' sign, in Kenmore...

Why don't the Red Sox chip in

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Why don't the Red Sox chip in and pay the bill, they understand getting market value ..


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Why would they pay for advertising for another company?

Tear down the Citgo Sign

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...and replace it with a gigantic, grumpy face saying "NO!" to everything. It will be the most Boston sign ever.

Joe Kennedy's "non-profit" can pay for CITGO sign

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For years, (Joseph Kennedy) the eldest son of the late Robert F. Kennedy has relied on the Venezuelan strongman to prop up his charity with tens of millions of dollars in donated (CITGO) oil. -- NY Post

Long live the CITGO sign, if nothing else, as a reminder of the corrupt nature of Massachusetts/Kennedy Democrat politics and their quid-pro-quo with the Communist dictator of Venezuela!

U.S. Rep Joe Kennedy II and wife were making over a million dollars at their "non-profit" Citizen's Energy in the 90's, while Joe's brother Michael, credibly accused of raping his children's own tween babysitter, before skiing into a tree and killing himself, was making $313,000 at the non-profit in the 90's. Meanwhile, the citizen's of Venezuela, much like Obama once, are now forced to eat dog.

It was uncomfortable in those days, to see toothy JPK II, with a brand new pair of work gloves and overalls, for five minutes every winter, pumping Venezuelan oil into the home of a Cambridge Democrat while the Globe and local media dutifully filmed as poor Venezuelan's starved. The five minute clip was well worth the obscene salary.

Meanwhile, Rep. Joe Kennedy III (not the one the father injured with illegal fireworks) wants an independent counsel. Priceless.

The oil is sour high sulfur

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The oil is sour high sulfur content requiring extra refining, which process can not be done by the average refinery. Citizens Energy is connected to Citizens Enterprise Corporation , which is a for profit entity. All is not what it seems.

They made a book about it

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I recall being amused by a 4"x4" book once sold locally titled something like "Boston at Night". It was a flipbook of all black pages with a red triangle that grew and shrank as the pages turned.

Back in '85 or so it was a pretty accurate description. Few of the buildings were lit, this was before decorative rooflines ("hats"), I believe even the Prudential sign went off at some hour.