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CCD is a recognized leader in the use of lighting to enhance public safety, animate the city at night and create visual excitement. CCD continues to experiment with state-of-the-art lighting technologies and applications to promote a safe and vibrant downtown after dark.

IlluminationPhiladelphia info sheet | 1 page | PDF (131 KB)


Since 1996, CCD has installed more than 2,000 ornamental, pedestrian-scale lights throughout Center City. These 15-foot-tall lights have doubled, or even tripled, the level of illumination at some locations, making downtown sidewalks lighter, brighter and safer and encouraging a vibrant nighttime scene.

In addition, CCD has installed hundreds more 30-foot-tall vehicular lights to illuminate downtown roadways.

Avenue of the Arts

Using light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures with a nearly infinite array of possible patterns and colors, CCD has lit the façades of a dozen historic buildings along South Broad Street (the Avenue of the Arts), allowing for programmed lighting effects ranging from subdued seasonal palettes to dynamic, special-event sound-and-light shows. Philadelphia is the first American city to light multiple buildings this way in a coordinated manner.

The Avenue of the Arts lighting is designed by The Lighting Practice, a Center City-based lighting design firm, and funded by CCD, The Pew Charitable Trusts, William Penn Foundation, The Lenfest Group, the Wachovia Foundation, Avenue of the Arts, Inc., the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development and Broad Street property owners.

Benjamin Franklin Parkway

As part of its ongoing work to transform the Benjamin Franklin Parkway into a pedestrian-friendly, animated cultural campus for Philadelphia, CCD has bathed the Parkway in light.

Since 2004, CCD has illuminated the façades of eight landmark buildings and 20 monumental works of public art along the Parkway. In addition, CCD installed 222 pedestrian-scale lights and 132 roadway lights. Learn More »

City Hall

City Hall lies at the geographic and symbolic heart of Center City. In 2004, CCD began illuminating the monumental structure nightly from its base to the tip of the William Penn statue atop the tower - almost 550 feet in the air. The project was completed with support from the City of Philadelphia, the Market Street East Improvement Association, generous adjacent property owners, businesses and other donors.

In 2007, the CCD permanently illuminated the north, east and west portals of City Hall in time for the inauguration of Mayor Nutter.

Special Events

As part of its continuing exploration of the potential for light to enliven the downtown, CCD has twice retained Artlumiere, a French firm that specializes in the spectacular lighting of architecturally significant buildings worldwide, to bring lighting magic to Philadelphia.

Artlumiere's dazzling holiday light display at City Hall in 2005 and its projections onto Avenue of the Arts buildings in 2007 drew thousands of spectators. In addition, CCD collaborated with the University of the Arts to teach artistic façade lighting techniques.

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