Phillies "Theme Tower" to be lowered
Nine years after Veterans Stadium was imploded, one of its last relics is on the chopping block.
A large crane hoisted an American flag beyond center field at Citizens Bank Park during the last homestand. The crane is temporary, but it is there to fix what fans have long regarded as an eyesore at an otherwise beautiful ballpark. Yes, the Veterans Stadium "Theme Tower" is being lowered.
You know it - the white structure near the Schuylkill Expressway. It was constructed with Veterans Stadium in 1971 and currently stands in a parking lot. The Phillies used the electronic board to generate revenue and advertise ballpark promotions. When Veterans Stadium was razed, the tower remained.
There was one problem: It partially blocked some views of Center City from the stands at Citizens Bank Park.
The tower will remain in a different form, a team spokesman said. It will be lowered in height - from 157 feet to 115 feet - and become a two-sided message board. Construction began this week.
The electronic board was not functional in recent seasons. The tower's white casing was stripped within the last year. The team had sought a solution for years while negotiating with neighbors on how the structure would be demolished.
- Matt Gelb