Whether from afar or within or from the street or a tony penthouse in the sky, there is no feeling quite like seeing New York City’s iconic skyline, especially at night. But imagine if you could control the glittering lights of just one of those buildings — or even two.
The select users of a super-secret free app called Spireworks can do just that. The invite-only Spireworks allows individuals to control the lighting installations of two Midtown buildings, One Bryant Park, aka Bank of America Tower, and 4 Times Square.
Spireworks launched in 2010 and has amassed about 10,000 users, Mark Domino, its director of digital media, told Metro. Anyone interested in using the app must obtain an invite from a current user, who is given a limited number of invitations to dole out.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Domino is the son-in-law Douglas Durst, whose Durst Organization owns both One Bryant Park and 4 Times Square.
The Journal said that One World Trade Center, which the company also manages, is added to Spireworks on special occasions, and Domino told Metro that the addition of more buildings is “potentially” in the works, but “nothing pending.”
Domino’s favorite part of using Spireworks is “watching the interplay of the two building and enjoying users discovering the application and playing with it for the first time.”
Over the course of the next year, he hopes to “transform Spireworks into something that has a greater social benefit,” but did not elaborate further.
So how does Spireworks work?
Spireworks users are able to change the spire atop One Bryant Park and the broadcast antennae of 4 Times Square after sunset and before 2 a.m. While a wide range of colors are available for the two buildings, a designated color palette is set each night.
Should more than one Spireworks user want to impress their friends with their mad color-changing skills, they will be put into a queue and alerted to their wait time via the app.
The Journal spoke to a few users who use Spireworks to woo dates, which James Geraci of Boston hoped to do when he asked for an invite via Twitter when he visited the city over Memorial Day weekend. Geraci told the Journal that he hoped to use the app as a "power move of a pickup line" when he hoped to entertain women in a hotel near One Bryant Park and 4 Times Square.
But alas, Geraci did not get the access he so coveted and "ended up having to try to impress the girls the old-fashioned way."