Lights to be Installed to Restore Boston City Hall

Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that architectural lighting will be installed at City Hall to highlight and enhance the building’s original design, building on the Walsh Administration’s goals to liven up City Hall Plaza and create a safer area for pedestrians.

“We are committed to creating a welcoming, lively City Hall Plaza, and installing new lights will make the plaza safer while connecting us to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market,” said Mayor Walsh in a press release. “The lighting restores the outside of City Hall to its original design and the LED technology will help us meet our sustainability goals.”

The lighting will highlight the original tripartite design of City Hall, which organized the building into three parts –  the public spaces: the lower levels that house public transaction areas; the symbolic spaces: the middle sections that house the governmental offices of the Mayor and the City Council; and the administrative spaces, the crown of the building, that house the administrative functions of government.

New high-efficiency LED fixtures will replace the original exterior recessed lighting fixtures to illuminate the lower levels and highlight the entrances.  Other fixtures, intended to wash the building with light, will be hidden behind existing structures and attached to new light poles, which will be coordinated with the new MBTA light poles.

The new fixtures will wash the building in a warm white light, and also have the capability of projecting a wide-range of color options which will allow the City to light the building to acknowledge a variety of civic and celebratory events.

The new exterior lighting will allow for better security lighting, and  will allow for the flood lights and associated conduit that has been added to the building over the years to be removed in its entirety.

The lighting will be sustainable by replacing the existing Metal Halide fixtures with LED technology that has a 20 year life span. The current fixtures have a four year life span and have never been replaced. The project is coordinating with Eversource on an energy incentive program for a grant of approximately $76,000.

The new fixtures are also more energy efficient than the Metal Halide fixtures and the existing Flood Lights.  Cost savings are expected to be in the range of 300,000 kWh saved per year.

Arcade lights will also be retrofitted to complement the City Hall lighting.  Both will be operated by the same controller and will be able to be coordinated. The lighting is very flexible, so future building or plaza renovations can utilize the new lighting.

 “City Hall’s powerful forms and evocative spaces represent Boston’s faith in its citizens and their government. It was always meant to evolve so it could meet changing needs and incorporate contemporary technologies,” said David Eisen  AIA, Boston Society of Architects (BSA) vice president for communication. “We’re delighted to see the city reaching out to the public with new ways of thinking about this–and other–civic places and spaces. Lighting will help this bold piece of architecture to engage the urban landscape around it.”

The 1968 ‘Heroic’ style City Hall Building is a pending Landmark therefore the Boston Landmarks Commission is reviewing this illumination plan and other future improvement plans.

Project will be bid on February 12th, construction is anticipated to start in April and be completed by the end of summer 2016.



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