ESB Floodlights

Beez Neez now Chy Whella
Big Bear and Pepe Millard
Tue 28 Jun 2011 20:41
Empire State Building Floodlights

In 1964, floodlights were added to illuminate the top of the Empire State Building at night, in colours chosen to match seasonal and other events, such as St. Patrick's Day, Christmas, Independence Day or Bastille Day. After the eightieth birthday and subsequent death of Frank Sinatra; the building was bathed in blue light to represent the singer's nickname "Ol' Blue Eyes". After the death of actress Fay Wray (King Kong) in late 2004, the building stood in complete darkness for 15 minutes. We had no idea all this was possible, of course we knew the building was lit but the fact the colours change and for all sorts of reasons was quite a surprise.


The floodlights bathed the building in red, white and blue for several months after the destruction of the World Trade Center, then reverted to the standard schedule. On the 4th of June 2002, the Empire State Building donned purple and gold (the royal colours of Queen Elizabeth II), in thanks for the UK playing the Star Spangled Banner during the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace on the 12th of September 2001 (a show of support after the September 11th Attacks). This would also be shown after the Westminster Dog Show.





Traditionally, in addition to the standard schedule, the building will be lit in the colours of New York's sports teams on the nights they have home games (orange, blue and white for the New York Knicks, red, white and blue for the New York Rangers and so on). The first weekend in June finds the building bathed in green light for the Belmont Stakes held in nearby Belmont Park. The building is illuminated in tennis-ball yellow during the US Open tennis tournament in late August and early September. It was twice lit in scarlet to support nearby Rutgers University: once for a football game against the University of Louisville on the 9th of November 2006, and again on April 3, 2007 when the women's basketball team played in the national championship game. On foggy nights during spring and fall migration seasons, the lights that illuminate the top thirty stories are occasionally turned off so that birds do not become disorientated by the bright lights and fly into the building.





In 1995, the building was lit up in blue, red, green and yellow for the release of Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system, which was launched with a $300 million campaign. The building has also been known to be illuminated in purple and white in honor of graduating students from New York University and blue and white in honor of those graduating from Columbia University.


The building has been lit in lavender for gay rights events, particularly during Gay Pride Week in June. Every year in September, the building is lit in black, red, and yellow, with the top lights off (for black) to celebrate the German-American Steuben Parade on Fifth Avenue. The building was lit green for three days in honour of the Islamic holiday of Eid ul-Fitr in October 2007. The lighting, the first for a Muslim holiday, is intended to be an annual event and was repeated in 2008, 2009 and 2010.





In December 2007, the building was lit yellow to signify the home video release of The Simpsons Movie. From the 25th - 27th of April 2008 the building was lit in lavender, pink and white in celebration of international pop diva Mariah Carey's accomplishments in the world of music and the release of her eleventh studio album E=MC2. In late October 2008, the building was lit green in honor of the fifth anniversary of the acclaimed Broadway Musical Wicked by Kerry Ellis and Stephen Schwartz.


Starting in 2008, the building along with New York City and many other cities around the world, participated in Earth Hour. The skyscraper's floodlights were turned off for exactly an hour to conserve energy. In September 2009, the building was lit for one night in orange colours, in celebration of the exploration of Manhattan Island by Henry Hudson 400 years earlier. The Dutch Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Princess Máxima were present and turned on the lights from the lobby.





In 2009, the building was lit for one night in red and yellow, the colours of the People's Republic of China, to celebrate the 60 years since its founding. On the 25th of May 2010, the building was lit with blue and white to commemorate the bicentenary of Argentina's May Revolution. On the 12th of July 2010, the floodlights were red, yellow and red, to celebrate Spain´s victory at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. On the 20th of July 2010, the building was lit with Colombia's colours, yellow, blue and red, to mark the bicentenary of Colombian independence. It was arranged by the Consulate of Colombia in New York. As is traditional every year, on the 15th of September 2010 the building was lit with the Mexican colours (green, white and red) to mark the anniversary of Mexico's independence.


On the 29th of April 2011, the building was lit in red, white and blue, the colours of the Union Flag at sunset in celebration of the Royal Wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Kate Middleton.


Colours are listed from bottom to top as they appear from the street. Today the colours are white, white, white and tomorrow. The 30th red, white, red for Canada. The 1st of July purple, lavender, blue for a private event. the 2nd to the 4th red, white, blue in honour of Independence Day. the 5th to the 14th white, white, white. The 15th to the 17th white, red, white for Japan (below).