Throughout the planning stages of The Witches Ball, to be held at The Hotel @ The Lafayette tonight (Facebook), there was one thing that I found bothersome. As much as the hotel looked amazing from the inside and the outside, there was a missed opportunity, because the sign sitting on top of the building remained dark. I spoke to developer Rocco Termini about the sign over a month ago, and he told me to have patience and that some day the sign would be relit, but that it was a real process.
Then, about a week ago, one of the architects from the hotel, Ben Siegel (BMS Design Studio), along with Jason Rothschild of Signature Development, approached me and said that they had come up with a plan to light the sign for the event (and beyond), in order to show Buffalonians what it might look like down the road once the sign is “brought back to life”. “We will be fastening the lights down and leaving them on for the foreseeable future,” Ben told me. “Jason purchased halogen lights from Home Depot to light the sign. They are nothing more than four construction lights mounted on some legs. We will be adding two more lights to make the sign ‘pop’ even more. We are also planning on introducing some other lighting effects for the holidays including Christmas lights and other colored lights. The relighting of the sign was in the original Lafayette Hotel budget but was ‘value engineered’ out as the cost of replacing the neon tube lights was over $20,000. Jason and I have been talking about finding an alternative for months and The Witches Ball served as a great event to finally unveil the sign.”
The lights get switched to “on” at 5pm this evening!