Price for downtown Schenectady light displays increased

FILE - The Schenectady Train Station and City Hall spire are illuminated in red and green on Christmas Eve 2019.

FILE - The Schenectady Train Station and City Hall spire are illuminated in red and green on Christmas Eve 2019.

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SCHENECTADY — The cost to splash prominent downtown landmarks in colorful LED lighting has increased. 

The Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority approved a $70,000 contract with Eos Lightmedia of Vancouver last month to install a lighting control system that will centralize control of the light displays that splash prominent downtown structures in color, including the City Hall clock tower, Proctors and rail bridges that carry tracks over State Street and Erie Boulevard.

The contract represents a $30,000 increase from the $40,000 Metroplex allocated for the system last February and was necessitated by an extensive review of the current system that is largely obsolete, according to project plans.

“The program designed for us is considerably more sophisticated and greatly updates the technology used in the software and controllers,” the plans read.

Ray Gillen, Metroplex chairman, said the technology will streamline the displays, making it easier to coordinate. Currently, the displays involve reaching out to several parties, including Metroplex, the city, Proctors and Amtrak, which maintains control of the lighting at the Erie Boulevard train station.

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Once installed, the new technology will allow a lighting technician from Proctors to control the displays. Amtrak will continue to maintain control of the light at the train station, but has been very cooperative in coordinating displays, Gillen said.

Other prominent landmarks that get doused in color include the pillars at Gateway Plaza, downtown parking garage and Lawrence Circle in the Stockade.

The light displays have become a fixture in the downtown area in recent years, often coordinating with events and prominent holidays. The landmarks were lit up in blue in 2019 to commemorate “Frozen” opening at Proctors, and were illuminated in green last November to commemorate veterans.

Gillen said the displays have become increasingly popular since they began, noting that the city, state and other organizations have reached out about coordinating the colorful features.

“It’s gone very, very well,” he said.

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] or by calling 518-395-3120.

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Categories: News, News, Schenectady, Schenectady County

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