Many Pittsburgh natives fondly recall the weather beacon atop the Gulf Tower with its flashing neon lights that indicated the weather forecast. The security guard in the building’s lobby would read the weather report in the local paper and switch the lights to red or blue, solid or blinking.
However, this six story pyramid’s neon display used as much energy as 24 homes, and during the energy crisis in the ‘70s, Gulf Oil decided to turn off the lights. When the crisis was over, the lights no longer worked.
Fast-forward a few decades: the building’s owners, inspired by the Empire State Building’s LED displays, decided to reignite the much adored landmark. With new LED technology, the award-winning lighting duo Chris Popowich and Cindy Limauro have enhanced the tower’s former glory with 730 foot-long strips of LEDs that can dazzle in a rainbow of colors.
The newly named KDKA-TV Weather Beacon usually provides a detailed weather display of Pittsburgh’s current conditions including temperature, precipitation, humidity, and wind speed:
The beacon also puts on special displays for holidays and sports celebrations.
The new KDKA-TV Weather Beacon debuted on July 4, 2012, and it was a happy and nostalgic occasion for Pittsburghers everywhere – including a few at here at Pegasus! This video shows the tower’s impressive patriotic display.
For more on this beloved beacon, read the full story here.