Florida Citrus Tower
|Florida Citrus Tower|
Florida Citrus Tower in 2015
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 built in 1956 in Clermont, Florida. Once the most famous landmarks of the Orlando area, it was built to allow visitors to observe the miles of orange groves surrounding it; developments in the citrus industry since its construction have left it providing a view of suburban neighborhoods today. With the antenna reaching over 500 feet (152 m) above sea level, it is the highest observation point in Florida. In early 2015, the Citrus Tower received a new paint job, giving it a new but retro look, with an orange line going down the middle of each side.
The tower opened in 1956 after 13 months of construction. During the first several years of operation, the tower was a popular attraction boasting up to 500,000 visitors a year due to being located 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 exchanged ownership multiple times, each trying to regain popularity for the tour. In 1988 a tram tour was built to tour visitors of various citrus crop being grown. The tower was purchased in 1995 by Greg Homan, who intends to keep and maintain the tower.
The Citrus Tower includes a wishing well, where visitors can hear their coin drop all the way to the bottom, and all proceeds are donated to the Green Isle Children Ranch. At the lobby is ROOM: Valencia which is a banquet facility, a giftshop, and a museum featuring the towers history. During Christmas season lights are put up on the tower that dance to Christmas music. Adjacent to the tower is the Presidents Hall of Fame - a wax exhibition museum in tribute to the 43 Presidents of the United States of America which includes a full-scale model replica of the actual interior of the White House.
- Spreading Out In All Directions, by Lindy T. Shepherd, Orlando Weekly
- "Citrus Tower". Emporis. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- Frommer's Florida '93 by Springer, George McDonald, Marylyn Springer, Don A Schultz
- 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.
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