The Importance of Light

28 08 2006

Recently, I got a chance to see up close the new marquee that covers 20 Federal Place. Since I had no camera with me, I’ll use this picture courtesy of Matt at downtown youngstown.com:                                                                           

 On that site, the reception is generally mixed. One thing I agree with is that the neon looks bad. The design of the building and the arches is more early-20th century, and the neon circles look out of place. I admit, though, that it is different from the rest of downtown’s street lighting, and if it covered the edges of the marquee it would definitely make the building stand out more.

I’m more of a proponent of installing traditional lighting on the marquee between the arches, and possibly altar the lettering. Perhaps the address lettering between the doors could be removed and 20 Federal Place could be inscribed between the arches, illuminated by the lights.

Another possibility I like is what I mentioned above about neon covering the edges of the marquee over the current circles, because like I said, it would certainly make 20 Federal stand out over the current street lights.

With that said, I am also excited to hear lighting will be installed on the top. Uplighting will really help add to a “big city” feel for Youngstown. Besides the illuminated Home Savings sign and the lights atop the Metropolitan Tower, the addition of the Chase signage earlier this year is a great addition to the skyline, and more uplighting can only make the city more pleasant at night.

News Ticker

From looking through archived pictures of downtown, a news ticker once existed in downtown, along the northeast corner of the Metropolitan Tower. It certainly wouldn’t be the ABC News ticker in Times Square, but it would be a very nice touch to see a mini-ticker scrolling local and national headlines from Central Square. The corner of the Met is a nice location, though one straight ticker from the Realty Building, where WYTV will place a satellite studio at, would all the more emulate Times Square, though that location is at a bit of a disadvantage seeing it would be less visible then the Met.

Overall, lighting is important in downtown. In addition to making everything more visible, people who don’t normally go downtown would feel safer if they were ever there at night. Besides that, I think it would help beautify the area and make Youngstown a pleasant place to be at any time in the day.

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