When and Where to Capture the Empire State Building Lit Up Blue for Columbia Grads in 2023

empire state building david dini 2022 columbia

It’s a Columbia Commencement tradition not to be missed: On the night of May 17, from sunset until 2:00 a.m. (EDT), the top of New York’s iconic Empire State Building will light up in blue and white to honor Columbia’s graduates. 

But where best to capture photos of and with the Empire State building? We asked the expert: University Photographer Eileen Barroso, who has been taking pictures of Columbia grads with the building for years and years. 

And don’t forget! If you aren’t able to get out and about to take your Empire State Building pictures, you can always observe the celebration of our grads on the Empire State Building Live Stream.

Here are five great spots to take your photos the night of Commencement:

34th Street and 7th Avenue

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