Michael Suguitan / Sun Staff Photographer

The Statler Hotel temporarily closed on Sunday after New York State ordered non-essential businesses to shutter. But amid the darkness, a few hotel windows still glimmer in a heart shape, shining a message of positivity and hope during the pandemic.

March 27, 2020

Statler Hotel Sends Love Across the Ithaca Campus

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Amid the quiet and dark Cornell campus, the windows of the Statler Hotel shined bright with a message of hope: The empty hotel’s windows illuminated in the shape of a heart.

Andrew Wall, a systems consultant in the Statler Hotel information technology department, said he was inspired by a LinkedIn post, which had a heart formation made by the lit windows of hotels around the world.

Following the University’s announcement on Saturday that non-essential New York businesses would be forced to close, the Statler Hotel prepared to temporarily shutter its doors on Sunday afternoon.

Rebecca Rypkema, director of rooms at the Statler Hotel, said the front-of-office turned on the lights as the hotel closed.

“Given our location on the hill, the hotel is visible throughout much of Ithaca,” Rypkema said. “Our goal was to spread some love for not only our community but the global Cornell community during these trying times.”

Wall said he hoped this gesture would spread love to the “essential” employees keeping the Ithaca campus safe and operationally functional, while putting their health at risk.

“It was a team effort to pull this off and we are so excited about the positive responses that we are getting from people all over the world,” Wall said.

The heart will remain lit during the Statler Hotel’s closure as a message of positivity and hope.