|Florida Citrus Tower|
Radio broadcasting tower
|Elevation||228 feet (69.5 m) above sea level at its base|
|Antenna spire||500 feet (152.4 m) above sea level|
|Roof||226 feet (68.9 m) above ground|
|Design and construction|
|Developer||A.W.Thacker and F.J.Toole|
The Florida Citrus Tower is a 226-foot-tall (69 m) structure in Clermont, Florida. Built in 1956 to allow visitors to observe the miles of surrounding orange groves, it was once among the most famous landmarks of the Orlando area.
Construction began in 1955, funded by a public sale of stock in the project, conceived by A.W. Thacker and Jack Toole "to showcase the thriving citrus industry," Orlando Weekly wrote in 2005. The project eventually consumed 5 million pounds (2,300 t) of concrete and 149,000 pounds (68 t) of reinforcing steel.
The tower opened on July 14, 1956, with representatives from Silver Springs and Cypress Gardens in attendance. During the first several years of operation, the tower drew up to 500,000 visitors a year, thanks to its location on US 27 between Cypress Gardens and Silver Springs. However, in 1964 Florida's Turnpike was extended north, providing a faster route south through Central Florida. Since then, the tower has been sold several times. In the 1980s, three harsh freezes (1983, 1985, and 1989) killed most of the citrus groves in Lake County; this caused a decrease in visitation to the tower. In 1988, a tram was built to offer visitors tours of various citrus crops. The tower was purchased in 1995 by Greg Homan, who had it painted white and turquoise.
In April 2015, the Citrus Tower was repainted in its original color scheme, with orange and white stripes.
The Citrus Tower includes a coin drop where visitors can hear their coin drop to the bottom. At the lobby is ROOM: Valencia: a banquet facility, gift shop, and museum of the tower's history. Near the tower is the Presidents Hall of Fame, with wax tributes to 46 Presidents of the United States and a model of the interior of the White House.
The mostly unmodernized Otis elevator of the Citrus Tower (now modernized)
- Shepherd, Lindy T. (July 14, 2005). "Spreading Out In All Directions". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
- "Citrus Tower". Emporis. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- Antics, Skillful (July 16, 2019). "Roadside Florida Attractions". citrustower.com. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
- Weiss, Werner (March 29, 2013). "Florida Citrus Tower". Yesterland.com. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
- Alexander, Carrie. "Citrus Tower is a reminder of Clermont's past". Sun Sentintel. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
- Springer, George McDonald; Springer, Marylyn; Schultz, Don A. Frommer's Florida '93.[full citation needed]