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Old Hite TV sign, relic of old South End, comes down

The old Hite Radio and TV sign was taken down.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

It is a vestige of a pre-gentrified South End, a time when televisions were routinely repaired rather than reflexively tossed.

Bob Hite posed in front of his store in 1999.John Bohn/Globe File

At noon Wednesday, a crane plucked the black-and-white Hite Radio and TV sign from its perch at the corner of Washington and Worcester streets.

It is the lone relic that will survive the building’s demolition, as soon as next week, to make way for new condos.

A portion of the lighted sign, though now missing many bulbs, will remain in the neighborhood as the latest addition to the collection of the South End Historical Society.

The family-owned business, housed in a squat, one-story structure amid lovingly restored properties, opened more than 70 years ago.


It weathered technological leaps, as well as urban renewal and a housing and cultural renaissance in the neighborhood, before closing last year.

“It’s a big part of the recent history of the South End, and its juxtaposition to the buildings around it shows how the South End has changed in recent history,” said Hope Shannon, executive director of the historical group.

Shannon noted that the city did not protect buildings in the 1960s and ’70s as it does now, making for a more “eclectic” look in the neighborhood.

Neighbors and passersby paused to watch the sign hoisted from the building’s roof and carefully set on the ground.

“They’ve been a good neighbor, and it’s obviously a part of the South End’s history,” Heather Sears, who lives across the street, said as she snapped photos.

Still, Sears acknowledged that the business seemed irrelevant in today’s high-tech world.

She was looking forward to the space being put to better use, with a building that would complement the neighborhood.

Johanna Kaiser can be reached at johanna.yourtown@gmail.com