Happy Birthday, Empire State Building

(Photography of Empire State Building comes from Harry Orr.)
From WNYC in New York, this piece by Richard Hake “marks the 75th Birthday of a New York icon. The Empire State Building took only a year and 45 days to build and opened in 1931. As a tribute, WNYC’s Richard Hake profiles the man who has one of the building’s most fascinating and visual jobs. He changes the lights on the building’s illuminated tower.”

Click here to read the full interview.

And for anyone curious about the color lights on the Empire State Building, here’s the breakdown of what each color combination represents:
Black/Yellow/Red German Reunification Day

Black/Green/Gold Jamaica Independence

Black/Red/Yellow German Reunification Day

Blue “Keeper of NY Harbor”, USCG Cutter Katherine Walker
Boys & Girls Clubs
Child Abuse Prevention
Colon Cancer Awareness
Jazz at Lincoln Center
March of Dimes “Prematurity Awareness Day”
March of Dimes Prematurity Day
Muscular Dystrophy Awareness
National Kids’ Day
Police Memorial Day
Police Memorial Week
U.S. Coast Guard / “Keeper of NY Harbor”
UNICEF Snowflake / Brighten the World for Children
UNICEF Snowflake Benefit Event

Blue/Blue/Green Anniversary of National Council of Jewish Women

Blue/Blue/Red Equal Parents Day

Blue/Blue/White 100th Anniversary, College of New Rochelle
Academy of American Poets
Anniversary of Academy of American Poets
Anniversary of Children’s Aid Society
Colon Cancer Awareness
Greek Independence
HIP / Economic Resurgence of Lower Manhattan
Jackie Robinson Day
Muscular Dystrophy Awareness
National Diabetes Awareness
UN Day
UN World Summit
United Nations Day

Blue/Gold/Blue 100th Anniversary of Rotary International

Blue/Green/Black Bahamas Independence

Blue/Green/Blue Corporate Philanthropy Day

Blue/Orange/Blue CUNY Honors College, Graduation
National EMS Week

Blue/Red/Red Equal Parents Day

Blue/Red/Yellow World Cup Archery Championship

Blue/White/Blue Americans with Disabilities
Argentina Independence
First Night of Hanukkah
Israel Independence Day
Juvenile Diabetes Awareness
Last Night of Hanukkah
Salute to 2004 Summer Olympics
Scotland’s Tartan Day
Tartan Day/Scotland

Blue/White/Red Bastille Day

Blue/White/White United Nations Day

Blue/Yellow/Black Bahamas Independence

ESB Lighting ESB Lighting

Gold Oscar Week in NYC

Gold/Black/Gold NYC Triathlon/NYC2012

Green 75th Anniversary Popeye
March of Dimes
National Childhood Cancer Awareness / CureSearch
Organ Donor Awareness
Rain Forest Awareness Event
Rainforest Awareness
St. Patrick’s Day

Green/Blue/Blue Earth Day

Green/Green/White “Donate Life Month”
Anniversary of Pakistan Independence
Pakistan Independence

Green/Red/White Wales/St. David’s Day

Green/White/Green Pakistan Independence

Green/White/Orange India Independence

Green/White/Red Anniversary of Mexico’s Independence
Mexico Independence

Green/Yellow/Blue Brazil Independence

Lavender/Lavender/White Stonewall Anniversary

No Lights “Day without Art/Night without Lights” AIDS Awareness
National Day of Mourning / Death of President Reagan
NYC skyline before the ESB opened on May 1, 1931

Orange/Blue/Blue NY Knicks Opening Day

Orange/Orange/Blue Celebrate NYC
NYC 2012
NYC Marathon
Safe Horizon/Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Orange/Orange/White “NYC Goes Orange”/Food Bank for NYC
22nd Anniversary/Food Bank of NYC
Anniversary of Food Bank for NYC
ASPCA’s 140th Anniversary
Netherlands’ Queens Day
Queens Day/Netherlands
Walk to End Domestic Violence

Orange/White/Blue Official NYC colors for NYC Marathon

Orange/White/Green India Independence

Pink/Pink/White “City in Pink”/Breast Cancer Awareness
Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Oct./Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Race for the Cure

Pink/Pink/Yellow Tribeca Film Festival

Purple/Green/Gold Mardi Gras

Purple/Purple/Gold Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Day
Westminster Dog Show
Westminster Kennel Club

Purple/Purple/White Alzheimer’s Awareness
Alzheimers’ “Walk to Remember”
NYU Graduation
Walk to Remember – Alzheimer’s Assoc.

Purple/Teal/White National Osteoporosis Society

Red “Go Red for Women”
Am Heart Assoc “Go Red for Women”
Big Apple Circus
Big Apple Circus / Clown Care Unit Charitable Event
Big Apple Circus/Clown Care Unit
Big Apple Fest / NYC&Co.
Diabetes Alert
Diabetes Awareness
East Side House Settlement Benefit Gala
Fire Department Memorial Day
Multiple Sclerosis Awareness
Multiple Sclerosis Society
Red Hot Summer Charity Event
Multiple Sclerosis, National Day of Hope
Red Cross
Red Ribbon Day, DEA
St. Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day

Red/Black/Green Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day
Harlem Week

Red/Blue/Blue Haiti Cultural Awareness
Haitian Culture Awareness

Red/Blue/Red Julliard School of Music, 100th Anniversary
Kids Health Challenge/Family Day

Red/Blue/White Dominican Week
New York Rangers
Philippine Independence

Red/Blue/Yellow Colombia Independence
Philippines / Manila Day

Red/Gold/Gold Lunar New Year

Red/Gold/Green Grenada Independence

Red/Gold/Red 100th Anniversary NYC Subway
Lunar New Year

Red/Red/Blue Bank of America/ESB Annual Run Up
Equal Parents Day

Red/Red/Gold Betty Boop’s 75th Anniversary
NYC Celebrates Fortune 500

Red/Red/Green Christmas Season
Holiday Colors
Holiday Season

Red/Red/White National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Pulaski Day
Red Cross Month
Swiss Day
Swiss National Day
Swisspeaks Festival for Switzerland

Red/Red/Yellow Anniversary of US Marines
Autumn Colors
Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey Circus

Red/White/Blue 65th Anniversary U.S.O.
9/11/01 Memorial
Armed Forces Day
Armed Forces Day / Fleet Week / Memorial Day
Election Day
Flag Day
Fleet Week / Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Lincoln’s Birthday
Patriotic Support/United We Stand
Pow Wow, USA’s Largest Travel Trade Show
Presidents Day/Weekend
Presidents’ Day & Washington’s Birthday
Republican National Convention
Soldiers’ Sailors’ Mariners’ & Airmen’s Club 85th Anniversary
Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’ and Airmen’s Club 86th Anniversary
Support Our Servicemen and Servicewomen
United We Stand/Celebrate America
Veterans’ Day

Red/White/Green Annual Feast of San Gennaro
Celebrate Italy and Alitalia
Columbus Day
In Memory of Remember Chico Scimone

Red/White/Red Leukemia/Lymphoma “Light the Night”
NYS Poison Prevention Week
Peru Independence
Poison Prevention Month
Switzerland admitted to the


Red/White/White Leukemia & Lymphoma “Light the Night”

Red/White/Yellow Ronald McDonald House 30th Anniversary

Red/Yellow/Blue Salvation Army’s 125th Anniversary

Red/Yellow/Green Portuguese Independence
Stop Red Light Running

White 75th Anniversary Lighting – All white as were the first lights to shine atop the building.
ESB Lighting
Hopes and prayers for the survivors of the tsunami.
Lights turned off in Remembrance of Pope John Paul II
UNESCO Event with Creed perfumes
World Movie Premiere

White/Red/Blue NY Rangers Event

White/Red/Red Qatar Independence

Yellow 100th Anniversary of the American Musical / 13th Broadway on Broadway
March of Dimes
NYC & Co/Snapple Promotion
Project Sunshine Week
U.S. Open
US Open

Yellow/Blue/Blue Children’s Health Fund / Starting Right
Ukraine Independence
Ukrainian Independence

Yellow/Orange/Yellow Corporate Philanthropy Day

Yellow/White/Yellow NYC Honors County Music Awards

Yellow/Yellow/White Easter/Spring


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