VISITING DOWNTOWN BIRMINGHAM FOR ‘LIGHT RAILS’

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I wrote about the Bill FitzGibbons LED Light Installation in Birmingham about a year ago, only I hadn’t really had the chance to visit the actual site and see it for myself.

I visit Birmingham quite often, it’s really a shame that it took so long to see the installation in person. This section of town can be very uninviting at night – there are lots of abandoned buildings, dark stretches of road. The 18th street underpass where ‘LightRails’ was installed is a public pathway that connects the north side of downtown Birmingham to the south side.

FitzGibbons, known for his large scale light installations collaborated with REV Birmingham to transform the 1931 Art Deco, 18th street public pathway into a halo of computerized rainbow lights that has the ability to be programmed with 16 million different colors and frequencies. It’s a welcomed beacon of light for both communities and a perfect example of how public art can enhance our neighborhoods. Especially this one…this visit surprised me, the buildings and lofts once left empty now seem inhabited. Quaint little coffee shops and independent business are slowly cropping up, dotting the landscape. Cant’ wait to see what happens next.

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