Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Turn on the Lights!

Cleveland's Terminal Tower's arrived at her 75th anniversary celebration this year dressed in a cloak of steel scaffolding. For the next few years, Cleveland's historic tower will be undergoing an extensive restoration project on its stone exterior. Those familiar with the normally fully-lit tower have, sadly, seen it disappear each evening - leaving a much emptier Cleveland skyline to come home to.

Even with Key Tower or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as icons of recent years, the Terminal Tower remains the definitive Cleveland landmark since its completion 75 years ago. Meticulously documented in Cleveland archives and made famous in Margaret Bourke-White's photographs, the Terminal Tower should be dressed for its anniversary celebration.

While I find the steel scaffolding mildly attractive (as it gives the illusion of an inside-out top), it could benefit from a designs eye to enhance the superstructure through lighting, fabric or otherwise. Innumerable ideas could transform Terminal Tower into a work of art.

Precedents include Michael Graves design for the Washington Monument, the murals surrounding St. Paul's Cathedral in London and the lighting exhibition, Luminocity, of the Cleveland Trust Rotunda.


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