Philadelphia Beacons, the four 42-foot high light towers that sit at the southern entrance to the Avenue of the Arts at Broad Street and Washington Avenue, are lit again for the first time in many years as the latest project of Avenue of the Arts, Inc. (AAI), the organization that champions investment and development on South Broad Street.
The massive public art project by renowned Philadelphia artist Ray King made its debut on New Year’ s Eve 1999 as the gateway to the Avenue. The four towers are composed of black granite, stainless steel, aviator cables, internal lights and multicolored holographic film. AAI recently updated the lighting from the original halide lights to LED bulbs to brighten and extend bulb life.
A reception was held on Nov. 10, 5:00-5:30pm, at Lincoln Square, the new retail and residential hub at Broad Street and Washington Avenue, to mark the occasion of the relighting of the Beacons, which in daylight also display multiple-colored reflections from the film.
“We are always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for all of our stakeholders on the Avenue – residents, businesses, students and visitors,” said Executive Director Laura Burkhardt. “This was a way we could both enhance the beauty of the streetscape and impact nighttime safety through improved lighting.”
Dianne Semingson, chair of the AAI board, added, “the organization has made significant headway in recent years in improving lighting, reconstructing crosswalks and adding greenery to the Avenue. We are looking forward to even more improvements as we approach AAI’s 30th Anniversary in 2023. Towards that end, AAI has hired Gensler, a global architecture, design and planning firm to work with us and the community on reimaging the Avenue. We look forward to sharing that vision in the future.”
Avenue of the Arts, Inc. would like to acknowledge Lincoln Square as a sponsor of its Beacon Lights reception. This project was financed in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Economic and Community Development.