What the Wells Fargo Tower Downtown Is Really Trying To Tell Us

A reader who goes out dogwalking in Montrose just west of Audubon Place at 5:30 every morning is hoping other Swamplot readers can help figure out out if there’s any particular reason why the lights on top of the Wells Fargo Plaza building at 1000 Louisiana recently began broadcasting in color:

During the drought, that is, all summer, there was a string of lights on top of the tower were always white. Then, [2 weeks ago], they went pink! Or maybe red. It was hard to say.

[One day last week,] they were all white, except for one small red section. [Then 2 days later,] they were red when I first saw them, but then they flashed to the white with a red dot configuration.


At first, I thought they were trying to offer a weather forecast. (If I remember correctly, one of the old buildings downtown did this with colored lights about 30 years ago) But now I am a bit flummoxed . . . .

NOW the light are changing almost every morning. The last two morning they started off as a deep solid red, then switched to a white with red dots at about 5:40 AM.

I can’t find a reason for the colors.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

40 Comment

  • They’ve been changing colors since at least last spring. On the 4th of July, they changed quite rapidly. I, too, have wondered about them as I see them out my bedroom windows each night.

  • I’ve noticed this also. I hope some one knows the answer because at one point a while back the lights were blue, then green

  • I read about lights like these in a book about reptilian languages, codes, and currency! I will try and find it soon and I will get back with a translation of the code!

  • Thanks Peter!

    This is the kind of mystery I love ;>)

  • I noticed them being pink for a while a few weeks ago.. For Breast Cancer Awareness month?

  • Maybe it’s just the building staff signaling to each other when it’s safe to take a smoke break. Why have colored lights if you aren’t going to use them?

  • I hope it’s something like they do in Boston on the Hancock Building. Here’s the rhyme.

    Steady blue, clear view.
    Flashing blue, clouds due.
    Steady red, rain ahead.
    Flashing red, snow instead.
    (except during baseball season, when it means the Sox game has been called off).

  • I’ve assumed the colors represented a holiday. I know they changed between red/white/blue around July 4. Around October 1, they were solid pink for a week or so. I figured that was for Breast Cancer Awareness month or whatever. Orange would be cool next week.

  • Just a guess, but I think it is pink for Susan Komen Breast Cancer Awareness. Race for the Cure was earlier this month. But that is just a guess. Could also be a secret signal broadcast to freemasons to begin their battle to retake the financial system from the grip of the Kiwanis clubs.

  • Any chance it was an attempt to do pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month and the bulbs are just malfunctioning?

  • Wells Fargo is [Susan G.] Komen’ for the Kure!

  • The old Conoco Building at 1300 Main had a weather ball that would change color as the weather dictates. Sadly, the weather ball was removed before I was born (before 1974).

    In Boston, MA, the old John Hancock building (HQ for the insurance company before the 1970’s I.M. Pei tower was built catty corner and had the notorious window problem) still has a weather indicator on top of the building. It is horizontal lights that show blue for good weather and change to red for bad weather. It is still in use today. However, the new Reliant Energy Plaza just north of Macy’s (old downtown Foley’s)on Main at Lamar has a band of lights at the top that changes color in sequence, also changes color in tune with holiday themes.

  • HELLO! It’s breast cancer awareness month. It’s just doing pink.

  • I’m pretty sure they were pink for breast cancer awareness. The hot pink is by far my favorite for this building it looks very cool in the skyline.

    Possibly the other colors in September where for Mexican independence day and prior to that 4th of July.

  • Perhaps the new 50% owners are playing with their $500,000,000 toy.

  • Pink Light in October = Breast Cancer Awareness Month


    See also the Phoenix Tower at Buffalo and SW Freeway.

  • 15-person JINX! lol…

  • …. those lights have been changing and yweah, a couple times it has been really really rapid change.

    I always thought that it would be cool to have to a weather predictor for the next day – I see I am not alone in that thought. Who can we campaign to make that happen?

  • I like the idea about the reptilian languages. That makes the most sense. I remember hearing about it on Coast to Coast AM along with the massive secret underground government train that goes back and forth between NASA and Intercontinental Airport.

  • I don’t understand a skyline that is argueably one of the world’s most beautiful is almost black at night. Why don’t these towers do any exterior lighting like the other major cities?

    While other cities celebrate architecture and light up their skylines so you can see them, Houston’s skyline is almost transparent – if you don’t know it’s there, you may miss it. How boring.

    Have you seen Dallas lately? Chicago? Austin??

  • We seemed to be going the way of Dallas with our downtown lighting until the recession hit and owners decided to cut back to save energy/costs.

  • Are we sure it’s not the mothership looking for someone to go with on their travels? Do you hear a familiar 5 note tune?

    Thank you Mr. Spielberg.

  • @Amy: Yes, before the recession the downtown buildings were ablaze all night. It was striking, if quite wasteful. Nowadays we can enjoy the contrast.

    The Houston skyline darkened at night continues its daytime conversation with sky, light, color and atmosphere. Our glass skyscrapers are our mountains — they reflect the changes in light and color and haze and brightness every day of the year. Dark at night, the effect is a continuum instead of a contrast. It’s subtle, and it’s nice.

  • White and red are Santander colors. If Wells Fargo were trying them on, then I wonder which of the big three banks BBVA would buy.

  • Maybe it’s like the Empire State Building, which has a specific color code to honor different organizations/holidays/etc


  • Its pink, not red. And its for breat cancer awareness.

  • The WF Bldg. last weekend I saw the colors change every 30 seconds !!!

  • The management is sending coded messages !!!

  • Wells Fargo management is sending signals to their fleet of private jets they maintain for the drug cartels – they wanna be sure to get their take of the of laundered drug dollars. Stiff competition from the CIA, DEA and ATF for those black market bucks…

  • @Miz Brooke Smith

    In your opinion, you may think a dark skyline is nice. But in mine, it’s quite boring and you can’t even see it to enjoy it.

    I’m sure the cost to light it can’t be that much because all the other cities don’t have a problem making it visible. Give me a break.

    Maybe Houston is just CHEAP. Some call it artsy.

  • true that everyone. At night the Dallas skyline blows Houston’s out of the water. Houston has such a beautiful skyline and unique buildings, its a shame that its not highlighted as the centerpiece of the city. We should get a group together or some type of organization to petition it. Anyone notice the new lighting for the courthouse?

  • i meant city hall, not courthouse. Apologies.

  • Yes, and I think the new lighting on City Hall looks awesome. Glad they thought of that.

    Now, if the City can afford to do it and the multi-million dollar corporations can’t, then that’s pretty pathetic. It’s already pathetic that the Downtown District doesn’t allow logos at the tops of the buildings like all the other cities. For heaven’s sake, you can’t even tell what companies are doing business downtown. And the new Embassy Suites doesn’t even have a logo on it for visitors to identify where it is!

  • NOR is the Embassy Suites allowed to use the lighting that was originally planned for it at night. Notice the giant plain ahite box at the top? That’s where the Aqua “E” for Embassy Suites was supposed to go.

    Now it looks like a giant cardboard refrigerator box with a plastic white square at the top. Pathetic.

    And visitors ask where the “energy” is of the city. It sure ain’t downtown.

  • Definitely agreed! I don’t know what’s going on in Houston, but something needs to change. I’m serious, I think we should try to get some type of petition together or something. Any ideas anyone?

  • I’ll sign it. Call CultureMap and the Houston Press!

  • Gahddang, Amy, YES, what we really need is more commercialization in Houston. Ain’t near enough of them purty if somewhat meaningless symbols all those corporations spent a bunch of money on. They need to get their return.

  • agreed mollusk! As much hubub as i hear about Dallas, i decided to visit and spend a few days to just explore and see what the deal is there. Its true what i’ve heard, Big D really is ahead of us by at least a decade or two in many aspects. I’m not bashing Houston, but Houston, we have a problem. This city has so much potential. Companies have to pay to advertise on buses, trains, etc.. So i’m not sure why METRO would turn down something like that. Money is money. Perhaps the extra revenue would move progress up a notch from snails pace. What is culture map?

  • The “color changing” schemes Wells Fargo Plaza does now at night is actually a series of individual LED light bulbs at the top. They change colors in homage to different holidays & events such as Breast Cancer awareness month & the 4th of July. On normal nights it will stay solid white. When this tower was originally built back in the 80’s it had a band of white neon around the top. They switched out late last year to LED’s to save energy & for their longer lifespan than neon. Its also unbreakable in a hurricane or high winds unlike neon.