Gantry Plaza State Park
The Pepsi-Cola Sign has illuminated the East River waterfront since 1936, and has become iconic for its vintage lettering and for offering a glimpse of the past in a fast-growing section of Long Island City. Built by Artkraft Signs, the display is made up of steel and porcelain enamel channel letters and a Pepsi-Cola bottle, all illuminated by neon. The sign was originally perched atop the Pepsi bottling plant, which was located in what is now the northern section of Gantry Plaza State Park. When the plant was demolished after the company ceased operations in 1999, the sign was preserved as a nod to the departed industry that was once a dominant presence in Long Island City. In 2009, the Pepsi-Cola sign was given pride of place in the park, where it remains today. In 21st century New York, vestiges like this remind us of the city’s vibrant past as an industrial powerhouse. The sign was designated an Individual Landmark by the LPC in 2016 as part of the agency’s effort to manage its backlog of considered, but not designated properties. The sign garnered much attention during the proceedings for the “Backlog95” initiative due to its unconventionality, but also its widespread popularity. The Pepsi-Cola sign was designated a NYC Individual Landmark in 2016.