Underground ‘invite-only’ app lets users change skyscraper lights in Manhattan

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MANHATTAN— It’s pretty safe to say, pick-up lines do less “picking up” and more creeping out.

These days, if you’re trying to impress a stranger, how about using the allure of Midtown’s skyscraper lights.

Yes – this is a thing.

It’s an exclusive invite-only app called Spireworks and it literally puts the power in your hands. With a subtle tap on your phone, users change the spire lights atop two Midtown buildings - One Bryant Park and 4 Times Square.

“It is an experience,” Spireworks creator Mark Domino told PIX11 News. “People have shared this experience with others around them in different ways – gender reveals, engagements, magic tricks.”

The Spireworks experience is one that is limited, only 10,000 people in the world have access and you need to be invited by another app user in order to flip the switch.

“When they go to control the lights, there’s a possibility that up to five other people are currently able to control it with them,” Domino explained. “If there’s more than five people, there’s a queue and you would have to wait a little bit.”

Access to the spires is possible on most days after sunset and before 2 a.m., a period when most are out and about in the Big Apple.

Some single men who have access to the app are reportedly using it to impress women in an effort to pick them up. It’s an outcome that doesn’t surprise the app’s developer.

“It’s not surprising given the New York nightlife and the number of rooftop venues that have opened in the past couple of years,” he said. “I encourage people to think more creatively because I think this is gonna be a thing more and more women and men will have heard of and it will probably be less effective in picking people up.”

While some may have their own agenda, the Durst Corporation which owns and operates both buildings, say down the road they hope to enable the app for social and charitable benefits.