Lighting Ceremony for Birmingham’s 18th Street Railroad Viaduct Kicks Off June 27, 2013
REV Birmingham and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham will unveil LightRails: An Artistic Lighting Installation at the 18th Street Railroad Viaduct on Thursday, June 27th beginning at 8pm, following Railroad Park’s “Relax by the Tracks.” The installation is the first of several planned light art projects to be installed across Birmingham’s City Center.
Funded by the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham’s Community Catalyst Fund, the 18th Street installation will be a permanent public display and is intended to activate underused space and encourage pedestrian traffic in a vital connection between two growing areas of downtown Birmingham. LED technology will be used to ensure the display is energy-saving and cost-effective. Nationally renowned San Antonio artist and sculptor Bill Fitzgibbons has been named lead designer of the project. Additional sponsors include Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM.
“REV is focusing City Center projects in the gaps, looking for opportunities to connect great projects like the emerging Parkside and Theatre Districts. This lighting project is a great way to turn underpasses, which have been barriers, into powerful connectors for pedestrian traffic,” said REV Birmingham CEO David Fleming.
In addition to the first installation, the Community Foundation has funded the development of a City Center Lighting Plan, expanding on recommendations for increased connectivity in the new Birmingham Comprehensive Plan. The master lighting plan, being developed by a team of local artists, designers and lighting experts, aims to create a vision for liveliness, connectivity, community cohesiveness and a greater sense of security in Birmingham by illuminating key structures and pedestrian traffic points within the City Center and surrounding districts. REV is currently working with the City of Birmingham and area developers to identify locations and estimate costs for future opportunities for public and private light-art projects to come online in the near future.