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
"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
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
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