TROY — The Green Island Bridge will close for two hours Friday night as part of Troy Night Out festivities featuring First Columbia’s reinvention of the Troy Waterfront with the cutting edge lighting of Hedley Park Place.
First Columbia, the developer focused on the revitalization of the Hedley District north of the Green Island Bridge, has collaborated with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center (LRC) to create a unique spectacle that promises to draw attention from around the world, all of it focused on the Hudson riverfront area. The lighting of the riverfront will become a permanent fixture of the district after next Friday.
“First Columbia believes that with the Hedley District Waterfront Redevelopment Troy will become the business technology center of the Capital District,” Kevin Bette President of First Columbia said Monday. “The illumination of the Hedley building, one of the region’s most iconic buildings, will showcase lighting designed by the Lighting Research Center. The design includes energy-efficient light emitting diodes (LED).”
As part of the kickoff to the project, the City is working with New York State Department of Transportation and the Village of Green Island to close off the Green Island Bridge from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. next Friday so that revelers can gather on the Bridge for the opening of “Illumination.”
“We could not be more thrilled to have First Columbia take on such an ambitious and exciting project in our City,” Mayor Harry J Tutunjian said. “This promises to be a great draw for the City of Troy, and will enable us to better promote the great treasure that we have in the Hudson River. I encourage everyone to come out on Troy Night Out, take a walk on the Green Island Bridge and understand what we can accomplish here with vision and hard work.”
As part of the festivities next Friday, fire throwing specialists Shilly Shally Fire Troupe will perform on the Green Island Bridge, joining local radio station Channel 103.1, food vendors, and hundreds of spectators.
The project will showcase the investment that First Columbia has made in the City of Troy, and promote what they believe will be the next great mixed-use waterfront development. The project also serves to showcase some of the lighting design capabilities of the Lighting Research Center.
“Cities and their people are meant to interact and Troy is positioned to do so. Light is the medium through which to achieve both excitement and harmony–between an individual, his city and his environment,” explained Patricia Rizzo, head of DesignWorks at Rensselaer’s Lighting Research Center. “Lighting design can amplify a city’s history and add a bit of mystery, drawing those who have lived there always, and those who have never been.”
There will be several phases to the waterfront lighting project. Phase 1 will include the smokestack, north and west sides of the Hedley building. The building will be illuminated every night beginning Friday, April 25th.
First Columbia, LLC approached the Lighting Research Center to develop a lighting master plan for the proposed Hedley District, a twenty-five square block area in Troy. The project includes several design elements integrated through a hierarchy of lighting that draws on both color and brightness. At its core is the Hedley Smokestack, which will be lit to glow red hot from viewing points around the city, symbolizing its function as a churning factory in the early 1900s.
Other highlights include the intersection of Jacob and River Streets, a pedestrian zone designed to be bright and colorfully lit to attract visitors and commerce. Jacob Street and River Street individually are given their own identity through the use of colored “collars,” which accessorize stylish streetlights that are dark-sky sensitive, and cast a soft moonlight effect on streets and sidewalks.
The project design incorporates functional yet fun lighting solutions that draw both office workers by day and visitors/residents by night, into commercial zones and green spaces to interact with their neighborhood and their city. The LRC design team also applied lighting to building facades and features to create visual interest along the verticals of the street to enhance nighttime views of the architecture and enable architectural surfaces to contribute to the ambient lighting. When viewing Hedley from the river, the Promenade, the cement wall which buffers Hedley Park Place from the river, will be dotted with blue light, forming an intermittent pattern across the wall’s face to contrast with the warm lights of Hedley Park Place above and give a nod to its marine environment.
First Columbia has developed a master plan for more than two dozen blocks near Hedley Park Place. The Latham-based developers recently appeared in front of the Troy Planning Board and gained preliminary approval on a hotel and conference center at the site of the former Hedley Cadillac Oldsmobile.
Troy City Councilman Ken Zalewski (D- District 5) said Monday that he was excited about the potential that the project had for waterfront development moving forward.
“The building architecture in this area, combined with the indispensable resource that is the Hudson River provides the City of Troy with limitless possibilities,” Zalewski said. “This genuinely unique project offers us a great opportunity to promote the City of Troy in new and exciting ways, and is a fine example of what can be achieved when City government, academia and the business community come together to create a shared vision.”