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Commission Approves LED Sign On Historic Lit Brothers Building

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Historical Commission will allow a developer to install a modern rooftop sign — essentially an electronic advertising billboard — on the historic Lit Brothers Building along Market Street East.

Despite opposition from preservationists and threatened litigation from residents who live in nearby luxury high rises, the Commission voted 7-3, with one abstention, to approve. That, after its own architectural committee recommended denying the application by developer John Connors.

The 15-foot high chain-link mesh frame LED display would extend more than 100-feet at the corners of 7th and 8th Streets along Market, but Connors says the moving ‘media mesh’ — what opponents describe as the electronic billboard — would be 74-feet at the corners.

Connors says they would restrict the hours during which the moving advertising display would operate from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“And from 11 a.m. through til 6 a.m. the next morning, we will leave the static signage in place,” Connors explained.

That’s when the sign will read, like it did in the old days, ‘Lit Brothers, A Great Store In a Great City.’

Connors says the moving advertising components would be sold in eight-second increments, and the static Lit Brothers sign of yesteryear, would appear every 15-minutes in an iconic display to mark every quarter hour.

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