The Real Deal New York

Lighted building trend adds color, but critics say it’s too much

March 05, 2012 11:30AM

From left: the Symphony of Lights, Hong Kong, and the Empire State Building

There is a new trend among New York City buildings: multi-colored light spectacles in the tradition of the iconic Empire State Building, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Bank of America and Conde Nast towers, the Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking District and Sketchers Store in Union Square all feature bright lights that change color. The New York City Economic Development Corp. is currently accepting proposals for “placemaking through lighting initiative” to be installed in Lower Manhattan, the paper said. 

An EDC spokesperson told the Journal the proposal, which is open-ended, is inspired by lighting displays in Hong Kong and Sydney. On Hong Kong island, for instance, a nightly “Symphony of Lights” display, wherein skyscrapers coordinate a light show that is set to a classical score, is visible from Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront.

Not everybody enjoys this trend, however. “With every tower thinking they deserve colored light,” said Cy Wilson, global director of interior design for Starwood Hotels, it’s almost as if “you’re starting to see everyone show up to the party wearing the same outfit.” [WSJ]

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