PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Residents in Upper Darby are saying goodbye to an iconic sign. Workers tore down the famous tower at the Tower Theater on Tuesday due to public safety concerns.
The mayor was fighting to keep the sign until last week when it was determined it was too dangerous to keep it up.
The sign has stood on top of Upper Darby since the 1920s.
But Live Nation, which owns the theater, said the structure was deemed to be unsafe.
“I don’t need a report sitting on my desk that God forbid got hurt,” Upper Darby Mayor Tom MiCozzie said. “It’s an iconic sign that represents Upper Darby. Whether you stood outside of it in your wedding photos in the 30s or you stood in front of it for graduation photos from Upper Darby High School.”
Artists like U2, The Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson, as well as Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band have performed at the theater.
While the theater understands the importance of the sign, the safety of its guests is the most important to them.
Bye bye bye pic.twitter.com/Hb5PEeCoHF
— Howard Monroe (@HMonroeNews) August 13, 2019
“We appreciate the iconic nature and importance of The Tower signage. However, the safety and well-being of our guests is our utmost concern. In light of the sign’s age, structural integrity and significant public safety concerns voiced by our independent engineering firm and other experts, a decision was made to remove The Tower sign atop the venue. Once the sign has been taken down, we plan to explore all options to potentially refurbish the signage,” general manager Trenton Banks said.
Those involved with the theater are sad to see the iconic sign be removed.
“It’s breaking my heart really, but I know it has to happen,” said Rebecca Keith, the Tower Theater’s former operations manager. “Amazing how a bunch of steel get to your heart, but it is.”
“That sign’s been up there since before I was born. The Tower is a staple of Upper Darby. This is crazy. I want everyone to understand that this is a staple,” resident Douglas Poppington said. “Everybody comes here to see the Tower sign. They need to put some glue on it or something, put something on there longer — we need it.”
It’s important to note that the theater is not going anywhere. It is still open and shows will still be performed.
As for the sign, after it’s cleaned up, it’s heading to a museum.