That One Dark Building Still Untangling Christmas Lights

Officials at Richmond’s James Monroe Building – one of the only major downtown complexes still not lit after Friday’s Grand Illumination ceremony – said today that they are “having one hell of a time” attempting to unfurl a 2-ton ball of Christmas tree lights.

“I thought we could start [untying the lights] in November and have it done in time, but honestly, we really should have started undoing this thing back in July,” said Carlos Wilkerson, a building manager who said he is still “not even halfway done” with untangling the the nearly 2,000 feet of lights used to drape the four corners and roof of the 508-foot skyskraper. “We really dropped the ball of tree lights on this one, so to speak.”

Wilkerson, 56, said he has been considering going to Target and just buying new lights, though at a cost of nearly $20,000, is not willing to spend the money in such a tight economy.

The tree-light untangler said he hoped to finish straightening out the ball of lights in time for Christmas Eve, though he was still completely unaware that all but a single light on the strand is functional.


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