Ever wanted to control the lights on New York City’s skyscrapers yourself? You may remember the invite-only app Spireworks which was all the rage several years ago, allowing participants to control the lights atop a number of New York’s skyscrapers, including One Bryant Park and One Five One West 42nd Street (formerly 4 Times Square). Now, instead of waiting for an invitation, you can get access to the app by donating to the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Spireworks has partnered with GlobalGiving, a non-profit that distributes donations and provides a tax deductible receipt, to introduce “Change at a Distance,” which provides guest access to users worldwide who make a donation. “100% of the money raised will go to supporting those most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, including impoverished communities around the world and healthcare workers,” Mark Domino, the app’s creator, wrote in an email to current member. “Change at a Distance” was launched in conjunction with a new live stream platform so you can view your lighting and color requests on the spires on One Bryant Park and 151 West 42nd Street without having to be in the vicinity of the buildings.

At One Bryant Park, we started sending new colors downwards 

Prior to this new initiative, Spireworks, which is an initiative within the Durst Organization which owns both buildings, remained exclusive to those who had to be invited by other members in order to control the LED lights. Colors could be applied by pushing up or pushing down colors onto segments of the installations. You can see our experience when the app first launched here. Many people had pleaded their cases on social media to get an account, and Domino had even asked for a profile to be taken down from Tinder that had been trying to search for an invitation for $1,000. Despite the app’s exclusivity, it never charged for access.

However, this new initiative allows non-members to control the color scheme. After participants scan a QR code on their website, they are prompted to give a donation to the Coronavirus Relief Fund. After donating, users can enter into the queue, and when it is their turn, they have two minutes to tap the color controller while watching their creation on Spireworks’ live stream. So far, GlobalGiving has raised over $6 million for the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

“We encourage you to continue interacting with the spires and to spread the word to friends and family as we stand in solidarity with the global efforts against COVID-19,” Domino wrote. Now,  anybody from around the world can use their creativity to light up New York while aiding essential workers and struggling families.

Some of the other unique initiatives at One Bryant Park include rooftop bees and a co-generation power plant. Next, check out Art While You Walk in the Sculpture Gardens in NYC!