What's up with that?
How is it that skyscrapers get lit up with similar colors and messages?
Q How does it work out that multiple downtown buildings get lit up with the same colors and messages for special occasions?
A The Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA) helps local organizations—sports teams, the police or national nonprofits, like the Breast Cancer Foundation—request skyscraper shout-outs, says spokesman Matt Smith. During Chicago’s doomed Olympic push, BOMA lit up more than 20 buildings with the digits “2016,” or in the case of the CNA building, the entire bid logo. But as for Independence Day and Christmas, it’s a case of great minds thinking alike, says Smith. This month, the Tribune Tower, Merchandise Mart and Willis Tower will have filters over their external spotlights, casting parts of the buildings in holiday colors. But the crown of the John Hancock Center will be lit from within—engineers will hang red and green film over the windows of the unoccupied 100th floor.