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Iconic Pepsi-Cola sign in Queens gets a temporary JetBlue addition

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The airline’s logo will be in place until October 1

Red sign that reads Pepsi-Cola, which sits on the Long Island City waterfront. Photo by Will Femia

The iconic Pepsi-Cola sign in Queens got a new addition for the first time in its history: A JetBlue logo under it, the Wall Street Journal first reported, and New Yorkers are not happy about it.

According to city documents, the Landmarks Preservation Commission staff issued a permit on August 14 for the JetBlue illuminated signage to be added and removed on or before October 1, 2019.

A modification to a city landmark often requires a public hearing and Landmarks Preservation commissioners’s approval, but according to the agency’s rules, if a sign or banner is installed temporarily, for less than 60 days, LPC staffers review the case and issue a permit.

According to WSJ, JetBlue added its logo on the landmark to promote a recently-announced partnership where the airline will only serve PepsiCo drinks.

But residents of the area and elected officials are not fond of the new addition to the sign.

“It’s a pretty significant change to a pretty visible, iconic sign,” City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents the area and has received calls from neighbors about the sign, said in a statement. “Even if it’s temporary, it shouldn’t be there.”

The sign was built in 1936 and put on the roof of the Long Island City Pepsi-Cola bottling facility in 1940, according to the LPC designation report. It became a city landmark in 2016. The iconic sign, according to the report, is “one of the most conspicuous features on the New York waterfront and serves as a reminder of Long Island City’s industrial past.”

“We know that people love the Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City, which also happens to be JetBlue’s home—It’s a living monument of both the Pepsi brand, and New York City,” Nancy Rooney, VP of marketing for PepsiCo Food Service, told Curbed in a statement. “That’s exactly why we believe it is the perfect symbol to celebrate our partnership.”