Pittsburgh Lite

April 23, 1999

From the AAAP listserver. Sent by: Pete Zapadka
Here we go again, folks. Another battle we'll
have to fight:

Cultural Trust plans 'City of Light' sign 

Friday, April 23, 1999

By Donald Miller, Post-Gazette Art and
Architecture Critic 

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is planning a
20-by-40-foot flashing electronic sign that it
hopes will transform Pittsburgh into the "City of

The sign, which will be on the roof of Penn
Avenue Place, the former Joseph Horne/Lazarus
Building, would display a series of white
triangles floating on a blue-gray background.

This plan is the first thrust in a series of
architectural/light projects that the trust
announced in 1996.

The sign -- not expected to be in place for a
year and a half and for which no budget was given
-- is a collaboration of Richard Gluckman, of
Gluckman Mayner Architects, New York, and artist
Robert Wilson, whose sound, light and performing
arts experiences have been critically acclaimed. 

The Pittsburgh lighting projects began with a
workshop at Wilson's studio in Watermill, N.Y.,
on eastern Long Island. The trust and the
Gluckman/Wilson team invited faculty and students
from Carnegie Mellon University and Chatham
College, to the event.

Out of the workshop came a development framework
for lighting projects. A book on the
Wilson/Gluckman plans was underwritten by
Pittsburgh's Bayer Foundation. A later part of
the project is expected to include special
lighting of Cultural District alleys. 

"Richard and Bob have developed a series of
special projects that will help define the
Cultural District -- and, we believe, help
redefine Pittsburgh -- as a 'City of Light,' "
said Carol R. Brown, trust president.

Gluckman described the "sign of light" as eight
giant triangles of cold white light floating in a
field of cold blue-gray on a grid of 72-by-144
2-inch, light-emitting diode clusters, or 10,368
lights. It will use the same technology as
multimedia displays in New York's Times Square.
The sign will face the new ballparks across the
Allegheny River.

Gluckman is the architect of The Andy Warhol
Museum; New York's Dia Center for the Arts and
Whitney Museum of American Art addition; Santa
Fe, N.M.'s Georgia O'Keeffe Museum; and the new
Austin, Texas, Museum of Art. 

Pete Zapadka
Assistant features editor
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette