Estrogen receptor-alpha (ER) transcription function is regulated in a ligand-dependent (e.g., estradiol, E2) or ligand-independent (e.g., growth factors) manner. Our laboratory seeks to understand these two modes of action. Using a cell line that contains a visible prolactin enhancer/promoter array (PRL-HeLa) regulated by ER, we analyzed ER response to E2 and EGF by quantifying image-based results. Data show differential recruitment of GFP-ER to the array, with the AF1 domain playing a vital role in EGF-mediated responsiveness. Temporal analyses of large-scale chromatin dynamics, and accumulation of array-localized reporter mRNA over 24 hours showed that the EGF response consists of a single pulse of reporter mRNA accumulation concomitant with transient increase in array decondensation. Estradiol induced a novel cyclical pattern of mRNA accumulation with a sustained increase in array decondensation. Collectively, our work shows that there is a stimuli-specific pattern of large-scale chromatin modification and transcript levels by ER.