Let it Glow!
The familiar glowing Pepsi Cola sign, a dazzling swirl of red curlicue letters, is officially a New York City landmark.
There is widespread love for the sign, and most think it is already a landmark. However, the sign has been one of dozens of sites across the city that was part of NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission’s massive “backlog,” and had been under consideration for 28 years.
The Pepsi Cola sign is one of the most recognizable features on the Queens waterfront and continues to be one of the few remaining vestiges of a time when illuminated signs adorned factories and warehouses across the city.
Constructed in 1936, the 60-foot sign was the largest electric sign in the state; the “P” and “C” are each 44 feet high, or roughly four stories. Over the years the sign has been moved several times, from one Pepsi bottling plant to another, and is now located near Center Boulevard and 46th Avenue overlooking Gantry Plaza State Park, a few feet from its’ original location. A winter storm in 1993 caused heavy damage to the sign, forcing a reconstruction of the then 50-year old sign. However, because the new sign, now 23 years old, remained true to the original format, it didn’t hinder the ‘over 50 year age limit’ required by a property under consideration by the LPC.
The iconic Pepsi Cola sign has overlooked the neighborhood’s waterfront for decades, and will continue to do so under the watchful eye of the LPC. Pepsi Cola remains responsible for the maintenance of the sign.
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
One Centre Street
New York, New York 10007