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Boston’s Citgo Sign Moving Toward Landmark Status

Potential BU building sale seemed to endanger it

One of Boston’s most iconic signs (that provides one of the most iconic views of the city) is moving closer to a landmark status that would preserve it for future generations, come what may of the building it bestrides.

Recall that Boston University earlier this year hired a brokerage to sell a collection of its buildings in the area, including 660 Beacon Street, from atop which the Citgo sign has loomed since 1965.

The sign and its building are not landmarked, and BU has said there is nothing stopping a new owner from removing the sign. Concern over that scenario drove the Boston Preservation Alliance to launch a petition last month to have the clarion landmarked.

That effort, and a general media maelstrom over a Boston without its Citgo sign, appears to be working. Per Tim Logan in the Globe:

A city board voted to launch the process of making the iconic electric sign an official city landmark. That means any building plans that might affect the sign would be subject to voluntary design review with the Boston Landmarks Commission. And more stringent protections could come in a few months.

The sign’s fate will ultimately lay with the mayor and the City Council. Stay tuned.