Three down, nine more to go. Several delays prevented crews from removing all 12 letters from the Philadelphia National Bank building on South Broad Street on Sunday.
The Center City streets that were closed for the day for the removal work were been reopened as of 6 p.m., according to Philadelphia Police.
The crews closed several streets to vehicular and pedestrian traffic around 6 a.m. on Sunday as they began taking down the "PNB" letters on top of the building. The high-rise, which was first built in 1932 by John Wanamker for his men’s department store, was purchased by the Philadelphia National Bank in the early 1950’s. It was the Bank which placed the “PNB” letters in lights on top of the tower. The "PNB" initials were placed on all four sides of the building for a total of 12 letters in all.
The Philadelphia National Bank owned the building until the mid-90’s. The 26-story, 464,000-square-foot building was recently purchased for $68 million by Aion Partners in New York. On July 2, the Historical Commission approved the removal of the sign and a permit was issued on July 31.
The roads were originally scheduled to reopen at noon. However, crews experienced problems getting the letters down, which caused a long delay.
After over seven hours, crews were only able to remove three of the 12 letters via helicopter. The removed letters were taken to the north side of City Hall. One worker told NBC10 the crews were having trouble detaching the letters fast enough.
The worker also told NBC10 they would need FAA approval, city permits and another reservation for a chopper in order to continue the removal process. They have not yet determined a day to continue the removal.
Workers with Thacray Crane Rental as well as the Philadelphia Sign Company were spotted during Sunday's construction.
The following roads were closed for drivers as crews continue to remove equipment:
- North 13th Street from Market Street to Arch Street
- South 13th Street from Chestnut Street to Market Street
- North 15th Street from South 15th Street to Arch Street
- South 15th Street from North 15th Street to Chestnut Street
- North Broad Street from JFK Boulevard to Arch Street
- South Broad Street from South Penn Square to Chestnut Street
- Market Street from South 11th Street to North Juniper Street
According to Mayor's Office Press Secretary Mark McDonald, the roads were scheduled to reopen by 4 p.m. but they remained closed due to further issues moving the equipment.
Stay with NBC10.com for more details on this developing story.