Thursday, February 14, 2008

Parachute Jump Lighting Designer Peeved at New Plan

Leni Schwendinger, who designed the lighting scheme for the Coney Island Parachute Jump that Borough President Marty Markowitz announced it's being done again as a "Phase II," is speaking out and is not entirely pleased. The city has issued a 178-page RFP for the "lighting enhancement." (Mr. Markowitz originally called the redone stucture "a beacon of light for this and future generations, harking and heralding Coney Island as a place where dreams come true." Last week, he said it needed "more bling.") In any case, Schwendinger had a small op-ed in the Post yesterday. Here's what it said:
The Coney Island Parachute Jump illumination is an internationally recognized symbol of Coney Island and Brooklyn - created in close collaboration with NYC's Economic Development Corporation, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Brooklyn Borough President's office and the respected engineering firm STV...For over two years, this design - depicting seasons, moods and the Coney-by-the-Sea carnival tradition - has appealed to audiences, young and old and from every walk of life.

It has been celebrated in publications worldwide, and it has received awards from professional engineering, construction, lighting and landmark associations.

When a politician flies in the face of all this goodwill to divisively demand more "bling" and less "art," New Yorkers should ask themselves: What's wrong with this picture?

By the way, if anyone recalls the amount that was spent on the original lighting project, please let us know. We've looked all over the place and can only find the aggregate amount spent on rehabbing the entire structure ($5 million). The new project, including rehabbing the base of the structure would cost $1.5 million.



Blogger said...

I'm all for boosting the bling. Its way too subtle and definitely needs some spotlights. If its at all foggy, you have to be standing under the thing to see the lights.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Brenda from Flatbush said...

I hate to align myself with Marty versus an artist, but Marty's right. When we looked at the new much-heralded "job," we sort of shrugged and wondered if they'd turned on all the lights yet. If there's anyplace where "bling" should be king, Coney would be it!

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree- bring on the bling!
"Subtle"- the adjective that was used to describe the lighting design in the NY Times and other publications when they "reviewed" the lighting-is the antithesis of Coney Island

12:17 PM  

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