The Empire State Building will light up in the four Hogwarts house colors on Wednesday, Sept. 27 to mark the 25th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book published in the U.S.
With a flick of the wand and a “Lumos,” the Tower Lights will shine in Gryffindor red, Hufflepuff Yellow, Ravenclaw blue, and Slytherin green at sunset.
A magical pop-up cart with free copies of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and bottled Butterbeer will be given to guests who purchase tickets to the 86th floor Observatory from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., while supplies last.
The Empire State Building, Wizarding World franchise partners, and Scholastic collaborated to organize the anniversary event, which all Muggles are also invited to come.
Guests are encouraged to dress up in their Hogwarts and Wizarding World attire and tag photos with #HarryPotter25 for a chance to be featured on the Empire State Building, Scholastic, and Wizarding World’s social media channels.
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” was the first book of the seven-book series published in September 1998. The Harry Potter series is still the best-selling book series of all time with 600 million copies sold worldwide.
New York City is home to the world’s only official Harry Potter flagship store, which is located on 935 Broadway in the Flatiron District. The store celebrated its one-year anniversary last year, where its store tally showed that more than two million people have visited since it opened.
Scholastic marked the quarter-anniversary by holding a Harry Potter 25th anniversary campaign, which included a billboard in Times Square and a 25,000-book donation of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to Title 1 schools across the U.S. Warner Bros. Discovery recently announced that the Harry Potter stories will be adapted into a new television series on MAX.
The series is not without its controversies, most notably involving author J.K. Rowling and posts she has made on social media about gender identity and the transgender community. Her critics have called for a boycott of her books and television renditions. The furor even inspired a podcast called “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling” to dive into the author’s views.
Rowling expressed her support for transgender rights during the controversy and tweeted her reason for agreeing to be on the podcast on X, formerly called Twitter. In the post, Rowling wrote that she “thought the two of us could have a real, interesting, two-sided conversation that might prove constructive.”
Guests can purchase tickets to the Empire State Building online here: https://www.esbnyc.com. To watch the Tower Lights live online, check out the Empire State Building live cam: https://www.esbnyc.com/about/live-cam.