First Tennessee Building Lights Up Christmas Tradition

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated.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.

(Memphis) It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Memphis with the First Tennessee Building lighting up the night sky. 

Every year the Memphis landmark celebrates special occasions by lighting up designs like a Christmas tree or Christmas bell in their windows.

First Tennessee has been lighting their building for over thirty years. 

Believe it or not it takes almost two hundred lit up windows to create the Christmas tree and bell on the sides of the building, and over 80 hours to make the design.

There are hundreds of windows in the First Tennessee building.

Inside of each one of those windows is a light bulb, and each light bulb is given a number.

Those numbers are put into a computer program, to create the design and colors.

Once the buildings maintenance crew gets the graph they go floor by floor to fix the lights, and it can take about five nights.

“We just take a colored sleeve and slide it over the bulb and put it back up in the window,” said Childress.

It’s very time consuming and dangerous. 

Crews harness up and hook on to the ceiling so they don`t push the window out and fall through. 

Childress say it`s all worth it because he`s from here and remembers the lights being as a kid growing up.

“It`s a lot of work, but we enjoy doing it because everybody likes to see the lights on the building,” said Childress.

The bank says they look at the lights as a gift to the community.

“We feel like we`re a downtown landmark. We`ve been there for almost 150 years now and we like to keep that tradition going, because we think it matters to people.  We need to have fun and we need to celebrate when we can.  Memphis is such a great city, we have a lot to celebrate, and we want to be a part of that,” said VP of Corporate Communications Kim Cherry.

Cherry says they celebrate big events with the city and coming up in a few months they will change the lights to make a big M to celebrate March Madness and the Memphis Tigers, and when the Grizzlies are in the NBA playoff they change the lights to say Go Grizz. 

As for the tree and bell they will stay lit until the day after Christmas.