Duquesne Light and Downtown Living Initiative to Illuminate Building Facades Along Penn Avenue Corridor

Unique Effort Will Use Accent Lighting to Help Create Vibrant Urban


Dec 29, 2004, 00:00 ET from Duquesne Light

    PITTSBURGH, Dec. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- One of Pittsburgh's most
 architecturally significant corridors will take on a new glow New Year's Eve
 as Duquesne Light and the Downtown Living Initiative premier the facade
 lighting of 17 buildings as part of this year's First Night activities.
     The streetscape project -- called "Illuminating Penn" -- will use exterior
 lighting fixtures to highlight buildings in the 800 and 900 blocks of Penn
 Avenue. The lighting will emphasize the street's distinctive landscape and
 importance as a connective route between the David Lawrence Convention Center
 and the Cultural District.
     The premier begins with remarks from Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy at 7 p.m.
 in front of 940 Penn Avenue.  J. Kevin McMahon, president and chief executive
 officer of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, which hosts the First Night
 celebration, and Morgan K. O'Brien, president and chief executive officer of
 Duquesne Light, will join him to inaugurate the facade lighting program.
 Their remarks will be followed by a spectacular laser-light show, which will
 course up and down the two-block area of Penn Avenue.
     "This is just one in a series of public lighting projects Duquesne Light
 has initiated to help foster a strong, safe and vibrant downtown," said
 O'Brien.  "We believe that a healthy downtown is critical to the overall
 economic well-being of the region, and we are proud to be a part of such a
 unique project."
     "The truly unique aspect of this project is the cooperative effort among
 many parties who came together to make this possible," said O'Brien.  "The
 power of this unique partnership enabled the project to be developed and fully
 executed in less than 12 months."
     Earlier this year, the Downtown Living Initiative commissioned Hilbish
 McGee Lighting Design to create a master lighting plan for the entire downtown
 corridor. Hilbish McGee also helped develop the architectural lighting plan
 for the Roberto Clemente Bridge, which Duquesne Light illuminated in November
 2002.  Other partners in the facade lighting project include the Cultural
 Trust and the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.
     "The lighting projects spearheaded by Duquesne Light are natural
 extensions of our world-class Cultural District," said McMahon. "These
 initiatives highlight Pittsburgh's rich architectural landscape that we work
 hard to preserve and showcase, helping to make Pittsburgh a major urban arts
 and tourism destination."
     The project went through a rigorous review process with the Penn-Liberty
 local review commission and the Pittsburgh Historic Review Commission.  The
 lighting design calls for a subtle grazing of the facades with minimal wattage
 white light to capture the architectural detail of the buildings. To maintain
 the architectural integrity of the buildings and minimize stray light, the
 cylindrical lighting fixtures were chosen for their discreet appearance,
 optical control and endurance.
     The property managers of the 17 participating buildings along Penn Avenue
 were responsible for funding the purchase of the light fixtures and completing
 any necessary internal wiring.  Duquesne Light crews installed the exterior
 lighting fixtures.
     According to Patty Burk, program director, Downtown Living Initiative, the
 Penn Avenue corridor, which will soon boast more than 400 apartments and six
 new restaurants, is ripe for such a project. "The new lighting will give the
 street a more comfortable, neighborhood feel," said Burk. "Given the dramatic
 increase of interest in living downtown, the timing of Duquesne Light's
 efforts is perfect.  The new lighting will provide a safer night-time
 environment for residents, visitors and conventioneers."
     Properties in the project include Rugby Realty, RIDC, LLI Technologies,
 the Reese Brothers, the Marriott Courtyard, Halpern Buildings, and D.E.S.
 Commercial Real Estate.  The lighting on the buildings will run nightly
 throughout the year from dusk to 1 a.m.
     About Duquesne Light
     Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Duquesne Light (NYSE:   DQE) is a leader in the
 transmission and distribution of electric energy, offering superior customer
 service and reliability to more than half a million direct customers in
 southwestern Pennsylvania.
     About the Downtown Living Initiative
     The Downtown Living Initiative was created by The Working Group on
 Downtown Housing, which encourages housing development in Downtown. (The
 Working Group is a team of representatives from The Heinz Endowments, the
 Richard King Mellon Foundation, the McCune Foundation, the Mayor's Office,
 Pittsburgh City Planning, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Parking
 Authority, the Port Authority, the Strategic Investment Fund, the Pittsburgh
 Downtown Partnership, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Urban Design Associates
 and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.) (412) 325-0163
     About First Night Pittsburgh
     First Night Pittsburgh is a project of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust,
 planned and produced with the assistance of Three Rivers Arts Festival. The
 largest New Year's Eve celebration in Pittsburgh, First Night showcases the
 talented artists and performers in the region.

SOURCE Duquesne Light