The vintage Florida Anglers Resort sign, a relic of Old Florida that was a steadfast presence on U.S. Highway 441 in Leesburg, was scrapped and demolished shortly after it was taken down earlier this month.
The razing of the historic sign left many Leesburg residents disappointed.
Bob Rogers, one of the owners for Rogers Sign Corp. in Brooksville, said he received between 20 and 30 calls from residents who wanted the sign that recalled a more rural Lake County as a popular spot for bass fishermen.
“We took it down Friday and I had a crew come in on Saturday. We just had a big mess here and it was the first one on the stack” so it was demolished first, he said.
He would have loved to have given it away, he said, because “it costs us money to get rid of it.”
Residents gathered on a day in January outside Play It Again Sports, where the 1950s’ sign was placed, as Bo Fackler of Rogers Signs Corp. took the sign down.
“It’s an old historical landmark,” said Kerry Hill, 52, of Fruitland Park at the time. “It definitely doesn’t need to be destroyed because it’s part of Lake County’s history.”
Play It Again Sports store owner, Chase Crouch, however, said he had never really noticed the sign that stood outside his business unless it was making a racket from a storm.
“To tell you the truth, it never really bothered me,” said Crouch, 29.
A resident complained about how the sign looked last year, leading the city to assess its code and discover that it wasn’t in compliance.
City code says that the owners of any sign not in use for 90 days “shall be taken down.” In this case, the sign has not been in use for decades.
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