Clermont's Citrus Tower reopens after renovation

The Citrus Tower is a Clermont icon. 

The tower was built in 1956, and rises 226 feet above the city, visible for miles. It was designed as a monument to the local citrus industry. 

"I think it brings memories to a lot of people who've been here for more than 20 years," said Clermont resident Daniela Martinez, "and for those of us who are new, who never saw the citrus groves, it shows you some history."

"I think its role is, it's kind of a window to the past," said Mascotte resident David Malagon.

This past September, a Colorado-based religious group bought the tower and started renovating it. They cut the ribbon Sunday morning, opening it back up to visitors. "Our whole idea was to bring it back to what it was years and years ago," said Ralph Messer, with the group Simchat Torah Beit Midrash.

Locals John Litton said the tower carried deep meaning for the people of Lake County. "I came through here first when I was seven years old, when my grandfather was a truck driver delivering strawberries and tomatoes from homestead, so my memories go long and wide, without all this glass paneling to protect us, we could just stand out here and have the wind blow in our face."

Visitors said it was great to be able to ride up the tower again for a commanding view of Central Florida. "Lets people know that, while we are progressing," Malagon said, "we still have that window to our past and it's still very much a part of our community."