Florida Citrus Tower
Standing as a central Florida landmark since 1956, the Citrus Tower is a fondly-regarded Sunshine State icon, but it's no longer a singular sentinel among low-slung groves. Today it fights for sky space with water towers and office buildings. You can still ride an elevator to the top -- a fact that makes its owners proud -- but the point of the Citrus Tower was to provide an aerial view of Florida's citrus bonanza, not of the strip malls and condos that you wanted to escape on your vacation.
In the building that surrounds the base of the tower, a large gift shop from days of yore is now a sanctuary for a local church. The "Citrus Arcade" and packing house out back are closed, probably gone wherever the groves went.
Along the wall on the way to the restrooms is the Tower's bell carillon broadcasting equipment. Speakers dangle from the tower (along with cell phone antennae) and the bells ring out a variety of songs on the half hour. Also on display are a couple of architect's scale models that date to the tower's Eisenhower-era construction.
A glass case filled with long-discontinued Citrus Tower souvenir plates and teacups makes you yearn for the elaborate keepsakes of yore. You can still buy post cards and t-shirts of the tower at the tower, but our favorite souvenirs were the Citrus Tower's decades-old plastic mesh citrus bushel bags. Buy one and use it the next time that you go to the supermarket to carry oranges imported from Brazil!