Madison Square Garden aerial

In challenging moments, it has been common to find architectural ways to express a sense of solidarity. Last week, the Empire State Building turned into a pulsing red for first responders. In the past, 1 WTC has been lit up in support of March for our Lives, for the terrorist attacks in France, LGBTQ Pride, and more. City Hall, the city’s bridges, and more lit up in green for the Climate Change Accord. The new initiative #LightItBlue is part of a global initiative to transform iconic landmarks in cities around the world into a “beacon of blue.” Tonight at 8 PM local time, more than 150 places in the United States will beam in blue, and in New York City, 1 World Trade Center, Madison Square Garden, the Times Square billboards, and the Beacon Theater (so far) will turn blue. [UPDATE: See photos of #LightItBlue from April 9th]

#LightItBlue originates in the United Kingdom and the efforts in the United States are being led by a collective of people in the events and entertainment industry.  The press release for the event calls it “a collective salute to the millions of essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Joe Zenas, the lead organizer of the event in the United States and the CEO at Thinkwell Group, a design and production agency said, “We’ve been so inspired over the past few weeks by the cheers of our neighbors around the world – and we wanted to bring this collective gratitude to an even bigger stage here in the U.S. This is a heartfelt ‘thank you’ from those of us at home to those of us who are going to work each day to keep our country going.”

#LightitBlue is also being promoted by NYC & Company, New York City’s tourism marketing agency, and last night its president Fred Dixon sent an email sharing how any venue with a color-changeable LED lighting and/or can display a message on exterior LED screens can participate. Below are further details for those who wish to participate:

  • To Share
    • Snap a photo and send it (hi-res) to [email protected]
    • Post a photo to your social channels and use the hashtags #LightItBlue #MakeItBlue #StayAtHome
    • Follow Make it Blue social channels (and feel free to tag them in your posts):

We’ll be updating this article with photographs this evening after #LightItBlue takes place!

Next, check out our full coverage of coronavirus in NYC.