One World Trade Center is getting in the holiday spirit this year, with brightly colored lights that are visible from blocks around.
The red, green, yellow, blue and pink lights went up recently along the eastern face of the steel and concrete skyscraper, illuminating it like a giant 50-story Christmas tree.
"It's a good will thing, to cheer up the job site for the holiday season," said Peter Amabile Jr., senior vice president of Five Star Electric, the tower's electrical contractor.
The Five Star team created the display by swapping out the clear bulbs that normally light the open concrete floors and replacing them with tinted ones. Amabile said he picked a broad array of colors, rather than just red and green, to make the exhibit "universal."
The lights are on 24 hours a day to help workers in the tower see what they're doing, but the colors are only visible from street level at night.
The colored bulbs are more expensive than regular ones, but Amabile said the cost was worthwhile.
Despite the cold, windy weather, many passersby stopped to admire the lights on a recent evening and several tourists took pictures.
"It looks beautiful," said Raziq Ali, 47, a Bronx resident, as he walked past the World Trade Center site.
"I think it's cool," agreed Dave Dalpe, 33, a Jersey City resident who was gazing up at the lights. "It looks pretty as you're walking down Vesey Street."
Just to the south, a much smaller display is visible on Tower 4, another office tower that is rising at the site. Workers draped several strings of multicolored Christmas lights over the base of the two tower cranes, adding a merry touch to developer Larry Silverstein's construction.
Amabile expects to keep the bolder lights at One World Trade Center up through early January, so they can continue spreading holiday cheer during the cold weather.
"It's a happy thing," he said.