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:: Photos of the Broad Street lights are available for viewing on our Flickr page

Avenue of the Arts Façades Joining New Year’s Celebrations
With Festive Light Shows

(December 30, 2008) – As crowds of Philadelphians ring in the New Year on December 31st they will be entertained by a colorful light show dancing across the historic façades of South Broad Street buildings. On New Year’s Eve and on the night of January 1st, light shows will draw their inspiration from the vivid palette of the Mummers parade.

The permanent light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures were first switched on by the Center City District during a gala celebration on December 17th. Color-changing light fixtures are on eight buildings: 123 South Broad Street, the North American Building, 215 South Broad Street, The Bellevue Garage, The Bellevue (Broad and Walnut Streets), Land Title & Trust Building (Broad and Chestnut Streets), 1401 Walnut Street and 337 South Broad Street. Colors on all buildings will be coordinated and will move up and down the Avenue of the Arts in brief three- and four-minute shows every 15 minutes beginning on the hour to serve as a festive, vibrant backdrop for holiday celebrations. In between, colors will gradually change in a slow coordinated manner.

The best locations to view the light shows along Broad Street will be between Chestnut and Locust Streets.

“These energy-efficient, color-changing lights can be used to highlight the distinctive architecture on South Broad Street or to transform the streets into a multi-color canvas for holidays and city-wide celebrations such as this. The possibilities are almost endless," said CCD President Paul R. Levy.

The LED lights can illuminate a building façade in a broad array of colors and patterns, ranging from plain white and muted color to the type of vibrant, multi-colored and festive presentation seen during their unveiling, video and photos of which are available on CCD’s Web site (www.CenterCityPhila.org). Color changing shows can be programmed for special events, every hour, or be timed for curtain call at various theaters, among other possibilities. Philadelphia is the only city in North America to have organized this of type of lighting on such a large scale in their downtown.

The permanent lighting displays were designed by The Lighting Practice, a Philadelphia-based firm that specializes in architectural lighting and the architectural firm Vitetta. The fixtures use LED Linear, a product produced by Philips Color Kinetics. LED Linear can be dimmed and dynamically controlled to produce 16 million color options while using minimal energy. Lighting the fixtures on all twelve façades for six hours consumes less energy than the lighting for one three-hour performance at a typical theater (audience of 200-400) on the Avenue of the Arts.

The $2.1 million South Broad Street lighting is funded by a mixture of private and public interests: Center City District, The Pew Charitable Trusts, William Penn Foundation, The Lenfest Group, the Wachovia Foundation, Avenue of the Arts, Inc. and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development.

Broad Street property owners are also a major funding source for the project: Allan Domb Real Estate, William Penn Realty Group, Samson Asset Management, PREIT, ASI Management, Seligsohn Soen Hess Co., The Union League, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Wachovia, Blake Construction Group, Pearl Properties, Chambers-Wiley Memorial Presbyterian Church and the University of the Arts.

The Center City District, a private-sector sponsored business improvement district dedicated to making Center City Philadelphia clean, safe and attractive, is committed to maintaining Center City’s competitive edge as a regional employment center, a quality place to live, and a premier regional destination for dining, shopping and cultural attractions.