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The Citgo sign has a competitor across the river

Shell sign in Cambridge

Jonathan spent some time by the Shell sign on Memorial Drive in Cambridge last night.

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Comments

Does it get a sticker about contributing to the climate emergency?

How about the intercity bus from Harvard Square to NYC, which ran briefly until Cambridge shut it down? The lack of a bus stop sign for this service should get a climate emergency sticker as well.

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Adam, do you remember a Wicked Good Conference* thread where you put out a call to list flashing signs throughout Boston and readers contributed their favorite? I believe Fontaine’s was the seed of the thread, but the details are hazy for some reason.

(*Footnote: You see, kids, back in the late 90s/early oughts, The Wicked Good Conference was the forum (or bulletin board) of Boston Online, the progenitor of UHub.)

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I miss the old Coca Cola sign in Allston.

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I was digging online and I always find bostononline links and I giggle.

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All hail the shining symbols of our god, OIL!! Photograph them! Marvel at the blinking lights! Become thrall to all that is OIL!!

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They are bright and shiny and horribly outdated.

Oil is going to fight, but it won't win. Time to leave the dinosaur's composted breakfast in the ground forever more.

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I think we can now classify the Citgo and Shell signs as "art" .

Even Shell would shut that station down in a heartbeat if it wasn't for the iconic sign. They've even said the sign is the only reason why the gas station is there (you'd know them and MicroCenter would flip fast N turning that buillding, gas station, and parking lot into condos so fast..)

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They can put that art in storage and use the space for art created by local artists.

Wouldn't it be cool if the Citgo sign was replaced with some unique-to-Boston artwork like on the Greenway? They could even incorporate lights since the wiring is there.

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It's iconic art (corporate logo/marketing art, anyway) and much more appealing than the Citgo logo.
Personally, I believe the building just down Memorial Drive from this location should be adorned with a giant neon or color-led representation of an instant camera.

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Even Shell would shut that station down in a heartbeat if it wasn't for the iconic sign. They've even said the sign is the only reason why the gas station is there

Reading the Globe story I wonder why you say this?

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Look around at lots up and down Memorial Drive. Take away what Harvard, MIT, and DCR (ex-MDC) owns, there's not alot along Memorial Drive that isn't owned by those three. Especially between Mass Ave and Western Ave.

That piece of property is a gold mine waiting for a high rise to go there. Its near all three squares in Cambridge and the Pike. I am very surprised it hasn't been redeveloped yet. Its a single story buildings on a large parking lot. It wouldn't take much for a 4,5,6,7 condo complex to be built there (and still win NIMBY Cambridgeport approval)

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But that's nothing compared to the value of operating a gas station with river views.

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Constructed of downward shining LEDs no doubt.

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I believe the owners spent a lot of money a few years ago to completely refurbish the sign and retrofit it with led bulbs. Before we used to call it the she/he sign because the l’s were out and the S blinked

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Dunno about downward facing, but yes, it was replaced in 2011 with an LED replica.

The linked article also corroborates the comment below that it was originally located across the river on top of the building on Comm. Ave. that is now Boston University Academy. The building is indeed still decorated with a frieze of undersea life, punctuated by scallop shells, although I'm saddened to see that the frieze on the side facing University Road was removed during building renovations just a few years ago. The time-hop feature on Google Streetview shows it as recently as September 2018, but in the most recent views, dated November 2019, it's gone.

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Many years ago, I'd drive by and see "HELL" in bright red letters. It seemed to take them forever to fix it, too.

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It was mounted on what is now the BU Academy Building, next to the aptly named BU Bridge.

I think there may be Shell motifs on the facade on the Comm. Ave. building.

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When I see the Mem Drive Shell sign, I can't help but think that it's the locus in quo of the escape of that terrified man who was held hostage by the marathon bombing killers.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/13/us/jurors-hear-harrowing-account-of-b...

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The famous sign is at Magazine Street. The Tsarnaevs' hijacked car stopped further up Memorial Drive, at another Shell station near Cambridge River Street.

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River St. Shell on memorial drive

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River Street in Cambridge, Cambridge Street across the river in Allston.

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Does anyone have a picture of the giant Strawberries sign that used to be next to the Shell sign? I've been looking for that for months.

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Where was the strawberries there?

I know MicroCenter was built as a Stop & Shop in the 60s. I dont think MicroCenter took over the building until the late 80s or early 90s. (their old interior signage had early 90s era companies)

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The Strawberries was in the building that currently houses a Starbucks, a massage parlor, and a furniture store.

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I thought it turned into a Trader Joe's but it's the building between Trader Joe's and the river.

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Trader Joe's used to be a Goodwill/Salvation Army - at least until 1993.

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Thats right.. I do remember a Strawberries being there when I first moved here in the late 90s.

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It was installed in 1940. The Shell sign dates to 1933 (but wasn't moved across the river until 1944).

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The man, the legend, let us not forget!

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