Florida Citrus Tower
|Florida Citrus Tower|
Florida Citrus Tower
Radio broadcasting tower
|Antenna spire||500 feet (152 m) above sea level|
|Roof||226 feet (69 m)|
|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. With the antenna reaching over 500 feet (152 m) above sea level, it remains the highest observation point in Florida, though the view today is mostly of suburban neighborhoods.
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 of concrete and 149,000 pounds of reinforcing steel.
The tower opened in 1956 after 13 months of construction. During the first several years of operation, the tower drew up to 500,000 visitors a year, thanks to its location on Highway 27 between Cypress Gardens and Silver Springs. However, in 1964 the Florida Turnpike was extended north, providing a faster route south through Central Florida. Since then the tower has been sold several times. In 1988, a tram was built to offer visitors tours of various citrus crops. The tower was purchased in 1995 by Greg Homan.
In April 2015, the Citrus Tower received a new paint job, changing it from its aging, white and turquoise color scheme back to its original and iconic white and orange stripe appearance. This marks the return of the original color scheme after its 20-year absence.
The Citrus Tower includes a wishing well where visitors can hear their coin drop to the bottom; proceeds are donated to the Green Isle Children Ranch. At the lobby is ROOM: Valencia: a banquet facility, gift shop, and museum of the tower's history. During Christmas season, lights on the tower dance to Christmas music. Near the tower is the Presidents Hall of Fame, with wax tributes to 43 Presidents of the United States of America and a full-scale replica of the interior of the White House.
- Spreading Out In All Directions, by Lindy T. Shepherd, Orlando Weekly
- "Citrus Tower". Emporis. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- 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.
- Frommer's Florida '93 by Springer, George McDonald, Marylyn Springer, Don A Schultz
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Florida Citrus Tower.|