NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The famous Pepsi-Cola sign in Queens has a new look for the first time in its 80-year history, and some people are not pleased.
They told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock the landmark is being used for the wrong reason.
So much more than an advertisement, the sign in Long Island City warms New Yorkers’ hearts and shines light on the industrial history of Queens.
Built in 1930s, it originally graced the top of the Pepsi bottling plant. Now it stands proud in Gantry Plaza State Park. However, recent additions to the iconic sign have some glowing red just like it.
“I think it’s pretty ugly,” Long Island City resident Casey Muoio said.
“I like the traditional sign,” another added.
A CBS2 camera caught crews at work, embedding a big blue arrow next to the already added JetBlue logo, and a giant puffy cloud, all that beneath the beloved curlicued writing and giant bottle of carbonated beverage.
“It looks different from what we’re used to,” one woman said.
Others said they don’t know what to think.
“Everybody who lives in the neighborhood, works in the neighborhood, is like I don’t know … what’s with the new change?” a person said.
Pepsi-Cola told Murdock the short-term add is a celebration of a new partnership between two New York-based companies.
“We don’t do these things lightly. We wanted to make sure it was done the right way because we respect this Pepsi-Co sign and the love everyone has for it,” Pepsi VP of Marketing Nancy Rooney said.
“I think it’s pretty disappointing to see a commercial partnership I think make its way into a city landmark. I wish they had opened it up to the community before proceeding,” Muoio said.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission confirmed that it granted permission for the addition earlier this month, adding it’s only temporary.
“The LPC rules allow for installation of temporary signs on landmark properties for up to 180 days, where such an installation will have no effect on the historic features of the landmark,” a spokesperson said.
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said it’s a bad call.
“They can advertise in so many different ways and in so many different places. This is an inappropriate place,” Van Bramer said.
“I feel like it takes away from the Pepsi-Cola sign. It’s supposed to be an iconic sign and I feel like it’s just too much change,” added Laquana Blyden of Astoria.
Some said of the altered landmark that it’s just another sign of the times.
The JetBlue logo is slated to stay up until Oct. 1.