Coca-Cola Sign in NYC

Retro Staff 4 Comments

I ran across pictures of this great old Coca-Cola neon sign and thermometer in a 1943 issue of The Red Barrel magazine. The sign was located in New York City at Columbus Circle on the roof of the American Circle Building.

Red Barrel Magazine

Cover of The Red Barrel magazine (August, 1943)

The sign overlooked the statue of Christopher Columbus, erected in 1892 in commemoration of his voyage to the Americas. The Trump International Hotel and Towers are now in the location where the sign once stood.

NYC Coca-Cola Sign

Alternate view of the NYC Coca-Cola Sign, which also featured the next day’s weather.

The original sign read “Drink Coca-Cola, The Pause That Refreshes”. It also posted “Tomorrow’s Weather”. It was made up of a half-mile of neon tubing and 3,000 incandescent lamps. All that, and five miles of wire, were contained in a sign that measured 80 feet wide x 55 feet high.

According the magazine article, the weather forecast was changed during WWII so as not to give any information to the enemy. The US Government considered predictions information to be a military secret, so the sign was changed to a giant thermometer with the tag line, “Thirst Knows No Season”.

Coke Sign Columbus Circle

During WWII the sign was changed to show the current temperature rather than “Tomorrow’s Weather”.

 The sign was taken down on August 20, 1965 when the American Circle Building was to be replaced by the Gulf and Western Building, which in turn was replaced by the Trump International Hotel and Towers.

Coca-Cola Sign And Bus

Sign after it was changed to “Thirst Knows No Season”.

The beautiful and much loved sign is now most likely gone forever.

Last updated: Sep 23, 2008
Filed under: Vintage Vending Archives Tagged with: advertising, Coca-Cola, signage, Soda Pop