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LIC's Pepsi Cola Sign Moves Closer to Landmark Designation, City Says

By  Jeanmarie Evelly and Katie Honan | February 23, 2016 2:20pm 

 The city's Landmarks Preservation Commission recommended in favor of landmarking the 60-foot-high sign on Tuesday, prioritizing it for an official vote sometime later this year.
The city's Landmarks Preservation Commission recommended in favor of landmarking the 60-foot-high sign on Tuesday, prioritizing it for an official vote sometime later this year.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

HUNTERS POINT — Long Island City's iconic Pepsi Cola sign is one step closer to landmark designation.

The city's Landmarks Preservation Commission recommended in favor of landmarking the 60-foot-tall sign on Tuesday, prioritizing it for an official vote sometime later this year.

The sign is one of three sites in Queens to move toward designation at a hearing Tuesday, which considered the status of dozens of "backlogged" sites citywide that have languished on the LPC's calendar for years without actually being voted on.

LPC staff will continue to do research on the Pepsi Cola sign before its presented again for a final vote, according to a spokeswoman.

The neon sign has been under landmark consideration since 1988, LPC records show. The steel and enamel structure was built in 1936 and originally displayed atop a building on 5th Street as part of the former Pepsi Cola bottling plant.

After that building was demolished, the sign was moved a short distance away and now sits in front of an apartment building at 4610 Center Blvd., overlooking Gantry Plaza State Park.

At an LPC hearing on the sign in 1990, the commission's research staff called it a "prominent feature of the East River waterfront," and said it was "an excellent example of the neon display technology which began to transform outdoor advertising in the 1920s."

In a statement after the LPC's hearing Tuesday, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer lauded the commission's decision to move the sign towards a landmarking vote, calling the structure "an iconic part of the Long Island City landscape."

"This staggering piece of pop art brings character to our neighborhood and reminds current residents of Queens' history as an industrial powerhouse," he said.