WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — An iconic part of Downtown Wilkes-Barre’s skyline is being taken down.
Nearly two decades after being built, work began Wednesday morning to bring down the Citizens Bank sign on top of the former Citizens Bank building in downtown Wilkes-Barre. The lights are off and the letters are coming down.
It will take about 3 days to take the letters down completely. Its lease agreement was up and was not renewed.
“We hope it’s going to take today, tomorrow and Friday. So, we are looking at about 3 days to be on the roof. Next week, we are going to have a crane come in on South Franklin and lift all of the letters off of the roof,” Todd Collins, owner of Widmer Sign Company, told Eyewitness News .
The building was the hub for most major regional banks until Citizens Bank closed its doors in the downtown location, in February of 2013.
“I used to work in that building, and I think, before it was Citizens Bank, it was United Penn,” Irene Martin, a Wilkes-Barre resident said.
Even though Martin is sad to see the sign go, she also says it’s been a little misleading for several years.
“The bank hasn’t been there for many years, so it’s kind of false advertising,” she said.
Other residents, shocked by the news, say the iconic sign helped represent the downtown area.
“Especially if you’re walking from the Market Street bridge, it showed that this is where our city is at. This is the inner city. This represents the inner city of the city of Wilkes-Barre,” Martin Dartoe of Wilkes-Barre said.
“That’s crazy. When you think about Wilkes-Barre and you think about like Center City Wilkes Barre, you think about the Citizens Bank sign,” Dakotah Conroy said.
There are no plans yet on what it will be replaced with, but talks are in place.
“It’s definitely an iconic sign, and I’m sure there are going to be some people that are sad to see it go. The bank has had a big presence in this area for a long time, but you know, it’s time for a change,” Collins said.
The first sign on the roof of the building was put up in 1912, when it was Miners National Bank.