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The Empire State Building and Her Luminous Glow

Published: July 13th, 2016

We’ve all heard that New York City is the city that never sleeps.  Could it be because of all the bright lights that surround us throughout the night and into the wee hours of the morning?  Times Square has always been the first to come to mind when people speak of the glow of Manhattan.  It wasn’t until I moved into a quaint third floor walk up in Williamsburg that that conception had changed for me.  The Empire State Building was right there, staring me in the face from my bedroom window.  Her ever changing glow was intriguing and quickly became something I couldn’t wait to see every evening.  Each combination of colors is lit to signify a holiday or special event.  What an amazing way to let New Yorkers and honorary New Yorkers (tourists) in on each of these events.

The more I watched the shining skyline, the more I needed to know. When did this start?  How many colors were there?  How come it’s dark some nights? (this was always disappointing.)  Where do I find the schedule?  As with most things that my mind gets wrapped around, I needed answers!

The first light to grace the top of ESB was a white searchlight beacon to celebrate the winner of the 1932 Presidential race.  Of course, that would be our very own Franklin D. Roosevelt.  In 1964 illuminated floodlights were added to the building.  It took a specialized lighting crew 6 hours to change the gel in the lights to allow different color combinations.  It wasn’t until 2012 that LED lights were installed.  This brings me to my next point, the new LED lights allow for over sixteen million colors and endless combinations!

On those dark nights when you look up and see nothing, it usually symbolizes mourning or a tragic event (very classy, Empire State Building).  During migration season you will also see a light missing from our beautiful skyline.  Because birds are drawn to the lights they fly directly toward them, but unfortunately, they’re unable to see the concrete building just behind (another classy move by the Empire State Building and Governor Cuomo).

Whatever the event, it’s always nice to see the Empire State Building honoring or celebrating or bringing awareness.  It’s something I love about this city and still look forward to seeing!  Next time you’re visiting, you can know ahead of time what events will be honored.  Just check The Empire State Building’s  lighting schedule to see what we will be celebrating when you’re in town.

All of us at the Library Hotel Collection would love to help you plan the perfect trip!  If the Empire State Building is something that “blows your hair back”, let us know, we can help with tickets!  Please feel free to contact concierge at the Hotel Elysee, the Casablanca Hotel, the Library Hotel or the Hotel Giraffe.  Let us help you make the most of your trip to New York City!  It’s what we love to do!

New York City Manhattan midtown skyline at night with skyscrapers lit over Hudson River with reflections.