We're so busy riding our Citi Bikes to Citi Field, we sometimes forget to stop and appreciate all the iconic spaces and signs of the city. Like, to pick something totally random off the top of my head, the landmarked Pepsi-Cola sign that sits along the East River in Queens. But local residents noticed this week that something is very amiss with the sign: a temporary blue JetBlue logo has been installed underneath the red lettering. How could a corporate sponsor let us down like this?! Can you imagine if the Playstation Theater or the Chrysler Building or Barclays Center or the Woolworth Building or the Time Warner Center did something like this?!
As the Wall Street Journal reported, the illuminated JetBlue logo had been approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission earlier this month, and will be up until at least October 1st as part of a promotion announcing a partnership between PepsiCo and JetBlue (JetBlue recently switched from being a Coke airplane to a Pepsi one).
Some local Queens residents were taken aback by the change, and registered their complaints to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents Long Island City. "It’s a pretty significant change to a pretty visible, iconic sign," he told the WSJ. "Even if it’s temporary, it shouldn’t be there."
The 147-foot-long sign was first installed in 1936 on top of the long-since-demolished Queens Pepsi bottling plant. The sign has been dismantled and shifted along the Queens waterfront multiple times since the late 1990s (the current sign is actually a 1994 restoration, as the c. 1930s sign was severely damaged in a storm). It was given landmark status in 2016—it had been under consideration for landmark status for 28 years leading up to that decision. And yet the Kentile Floors sign remains in limbo!
It is a sad day when corporate signage gets degraded by ads like this. As one disgusted consumer wrote, "Wow classic- corporations ruining my special relationship with other corporations."