Lights Out at the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings This Saturday

In a grand act of symbolism that will surely evoke memories of the 2003 blackout for the unitiated, some of New York City’s most recognizable and well-lit structures will go dark for an hour this Saturday, as part of a wordwide call for action on climate change, according to a release.

Among the structures that will go dark at 8:30 p.m. on March 28: the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, the Citigroup Center, the Reuters, NASDAQ and Coca-Cola signs in Times Square, most Broadway Theaters, City Hall, the Manhattan Municipal Building, Brooklyn and Staten Island Borough Halls, the United Nations, and the East River Bridges.

It’s a brilliant PR move, for both the landlords and the World Wildlife Fund, which organized this “Earth Hour,” and a lovely, if rather unsubstantial symbol (only one hour?!). It’s also a great feat of organization: World Wildlife Fund has gotten 1,800 other cities in 81 countries to participate, including Atlanta, Chicago, and Miami.

“This will be a pivotal year in the future of our planet as we look to Congress, President Obama and global leaders to take immediate and decisive action on climate change,” said Carter Roberts, CEO of World Wildlife Fund, in a statement. “Having New York City go dark for Earth Hour will send a powerful message to the world that the U.S. is ready to assume a leadership position in solving one of the most serious challenges facing our planet today. By turning out the lights, the people of New York City will be casting a vote in support of the future of the Earth.”

Other participating towers include Hearst Tower, Time Warner Center, the The New York Public Library, 7 World Trade Center and the other Silverstein Properties buildings, The Helmsley Building and other Monday Properties buildings, Con Edison Clock Tower, the Grand Hyatt New York, and others.

From the release:

Joining these properties are top New York City organizations and institutions including Columbia University, PACE University, CUNY, New York University, Brooklyn College, the Building Owners and Managers Association of New York, the U.S. Green Building Council New York, Fall Out Boy Pete Wentz’s Angels + Kings, and many more.

Around the world, icons committed to Earth Hour include:

         The Las Vegas Strip

         Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

         Sears Tower in Chicago

         Eiffel Tower in Paris

         Notre Dame in Paris

         Sydney Opera House

         Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro

         Niagara Falls

         Stockholm Castle

         Burj Dubai

Oscar nominated actor and New York City resident Edward Norton is the official ambassador for Earth Hour 2009 with support from Nobel Prize Laurite Archbishop Desmond Tutu, actresses Janeane Garofalo and Jennette McCurdy, fashionistas Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, as well as musicians Linkin Park, Alanis Morissette, Coldplay, Jo Dee Messina,Big Kenny (Big & Rich), Gavin DeGraw, KT Tunstall, Mary Mary, Dierks Bently, Wynonna Judd, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Lady Antebellum,SHeDAISY, Finger Eleven, Simple Plan, Justin Nozuka, The Veronicas and Rise Against.

WWF officials stressed the importance of safety during Earth Hour, noting that all lighting related to public safety will remain on.

More information about Earth Hour and ways to get involved can be found at and

National partners for WWF’s Earth Hour 2009 are Esurance, Cox Enterprises, The Coca-Cola Company, Wells Fargo and Hewlett-Packard.

About World Wildlife Fund and Earth Hour

Earth Hour ( is a global initiative of WWF in which millions of people around the world will cast a vote in favor of action on climate change by turning off their lights for one hour on March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm local time. By voting with their light switches, Earth Hour participants will send a powerful, visual message to their leaders demanding immediate action on climate change. WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, stop the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit to learn more.

Lights Out at the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings This Saturday