Iconic PNB Letters Removed Off One South Building - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Iconic PNB Letters Removed Off One South Building

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 Philadelphia's skyline makeover hit a snag today.

Workers began removing the iconic PNB letters off the One South Broad Building, but a city official says complications forced them to stop.

A source told FOX 29 there were safety concerns with the condition of the letters that have been through a lot in 60 years.

They were only able to take down three of the 12 letters before a decision was made to reassess their plan of attack.

One by one, a helicopter began removing the PNB letters off the One South Broad building.

"When we first got here we saw the B flying past Broad Street and heading over here to land, and it was amazing,” Michael Esworthy said.

A few dozen people gathered at Love Park to watch, very close to the action.

"Very windy. Yeah very windy and a lot of dirt blowing in your eyes,” father and son David and David Grebloski said.

The project started at six in the morning, but with only three letters down, things ended around one due to complications.

Several streets around city hall were closed off during the project snarling traffic in an already congested part of Center City.

The 16 feet high 3000 pound stainless steel letters facing each side have been on the building since Philadelphia National Bank bought the 28 story tower in the 50s.

"It's something you've seen every day. For me, every day of my life,” Esworthy said.

The sign made it through several ownership changes after PNB sold the building in 1996.

Some are sad to see this historic part of the city skyline come down.

"I think it's a shame. You know it's been up there 60 years, but things do change. I know there's a new owner of the building. I'd like to know what they're putting up,” Bob Donoghue said.

The Philadelphia Business Journal reported in May that Aion Partners in New York bought the building for 68 million dollars.

They couldn't be reached for comment.

Others think this is a new part of the skyscraper's story.

"It's very similar to the Wanamaker building becoming Macy's and that history. So I think it's making history. We'll see where it is in 30 years,” Kendra Darigan said.

The project has to be rescheduled for a later time after they line things up with the FAA, Helicopter Company and obtain city permits.

Where the historic letters are being taken remains unclear.

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