Development

New buildings, lights add a splash of color to Charlotte’s nighttime skyline

300 South Tryon has been testing out its new lights nightly.
300 South Tryon has been testing out its new lights nightly.

For years, the colored lights outlining the Duke Energy Center have hogged attention on Charlotte’s night skyline, changing for holidays and the city’s sports teams. But colored lighting at other uptown buildings is adding a new dash of color.

Light testing has been underway nightly at 300 South Tryon, the new, 25-story office tower set to open this summer. The lights ringing each floor have been red, blue and white in recent nights, giving the building an early Fourth of July appearance.

And the Bank of America tower, uptown’s tallest building at 60 stories, has also completed an upgrade of the lights around its “crown” that allows the bank to easily change colors with the new LED lights. The bank has tested out a variety of color schemes, including blue for the Carolina Panthers, as well as purple and red. The original lights, which dated to the building’s opening in 1992, could change colors, but doing so was a time- and labor-intensive process.

A handful of other uptown buildings, most notably the 51-story Vue apartment tower, change their light schemes for special events. But don’t expect the new lighting packages to radically reshape the way uptown looks at night: Bank of America has said it won’t regularly change the colors on its headquarters.

“We are not going to be lighting it regularly with alternative colors,” spokeswoman Jennifer Darwin said earlier this year. “We will just do it sometimes for local community events.”

It’s a similar story at 300 South Tryon: Developer Spectrum Companies says the building will more typically look as it does in the inset rendering, with white lights highlighting each floor.

So, it seems the Duke Energy Center will still have the spotlight to itself most nights.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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