Unique Visual Display Will Run Nightly, Year-Round
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Buffalo's historic Connecting Terminal grain elevator has been fit with a spectacular new lighting display that will provide a direct visual link to Canalside and anchor the Buffalo River's gateway from Lake Erie. The grain elevator will be lit every night throughout the year and marks another significant milestone in fulfilling Governor Cuomo's vision for a revitalized Buffalo waterfront.
"The constantly evolving illumination on the historic grain elevator celebrates Buffalo's industrial heritage and is a truly fitting tribute to the 'City of Light,'" said Governor Cuomo. "By bringing the grain elevator back to life, we are further building on the success at Canalside and illustrating the vibrancy and innovation that has taken hold of this city on the move."
Created with high-efficiency LED lights, the grain elevator's lighting concept is that of the four seasons as seen through an ever-evolving kaleidoscope. Colorful patterns and shapes will be displayed on all four sides of the structure, making the length of the display area nearly four football fields long. It will be visible every evening starting at dusk from Canalside, Erie Basin Marina, the Skyway, various other locations throughout the Buffalo and, on clear nights, Canada.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, "Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s unwavering commitment to our city and region, Buffalo's waterfront just gets better and better. This dynamic and creative lighting display, giving a completely new and unique visual representation of a decommissioned grain elevator, serves as yet another example of the tremendous energy, optimism and creativity that pervades our community. Our waterfront is hot. It's a true regional destination and it now draws thousands of people to one our greatest assets twelve months of the year, for so many different events and occasions. It's fitting then that the designers were inspired to create a display that portrays the four seasons as seen through the lens of a kaleidoscope. We can all take great pride in yet another tremendous addition to the city’s waterfront."
The display was built using five layers of kinetic lighting, with each light layer involving a different kind of light fixture and system. The infrastructure is situated on and around the Connecting Terminal grain elevator site on New York Power Authority property, as well as on Kelly Island, which is located across the Buffalo River at General Mills.
Artistic direction for the project was led by Ambiances Design Productions, with Foit Albert Associates acting as the prime consultant for the design team. Frey Electric Construction Co. served as the electrical contractor, RAM-TECH Engineers were the electrical engineers and Hohl Industrial Services, Inc. was the general contractor.
Ambiances Design Productions Creative Director Martin Gagnon said, "We are thrilled to present Buffalo with this first artistic illumination project named the KALEIDOSCOPE. Our team is very honored and proud to be part of the revitalization era in Buffalo using art and to be able to contribute in our own creative way. We truly hope that this unique lighting installation on the grain silos will inspire the community and tourists alike while validating Buffalo as a modern and evolving city. We believe that this nightly transformation of the connecting terminal will not only enhance people's experience at Canalside, but will become part of the new Buffalo nightscape signature."
Congressman Brian Higgins said, "Western New York shines when we embrace characteristics that are uniquely ours. The grain elevators are towering symbols of our rich industrial history and proud roll-up-the-sleeves and get things done workforce. This illuminating feature is an exciting addition to the waterfront experience, reflecting on where we’ve been and the great things ahead for this community."
Senator Marc Panepinto said, "Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation continues to deliver with yet another shining achievement for residents and visitors from across the globe. The activation of silent icons like the grain elevators through light and imagery will provide visitors with year-round entertainment. I encourage visitors young and old to take in this dazzling light spectacle and all that our waterfront has to offer."
Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, "The tourism industry and Canalside is getting another boost with the lighting display on Buffalo’s historic grain elevators. The colorful light installation is an invitation to everyone that the waterfront is here for your enjoyment, adding to the year-round entertainment experience. Growing up in Buffalo the grain elevators were an eyesore and a linkage to the past, now they are the epitome of the new Buffalo: historic and repurposed. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership, and the New York Power Authority as they ensure that more Western New York residents will visit Buffalo’s waterfront.”
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, "Our waterfront would not be the same without our grain elevators, and these architectural marvels are once again in the spotlight and at the center of a new wave of creativity and excitement that is sure to attract attention and visitors. This installation will re-energize our waterfront year-round and spotlight not only our rich architectural and industrial past but also the tremendous progress being made at Canalside and all around the Buffalo River. It will be a stunning visual statement and affirmation of our regional identity."
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "Illuminating Buffalo's historic grain elevators will be truly unique. This nightly, year-round installation adds to the momentum in Buffalo, where over $5.5 billion in new economic development activity is underway, and highlights our City’s cultural assets and heritage. Additionally, this visual installation will allow all city residents and visitors to enjoy Buffalo's revitalized waterfront. As a result of strong collaborations and the partnership we have with Governor Andrew Cuomo, our city continues to grow and this project further complements the development and rising economic opportunity and job growth in Buffalo.”
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chairman Robert Gioia said, "This spectacular display on the Connecting Terminal transforms the iconic concrete structure into a contemplative artistic lighting installation that will keep visitors coming back to the site to share the experience with friends and family while enjoying their time on the waterfront. I'm excited that we are able to utilize the unique canvases of the historic grain elevators to achieve such a dynamic and world-class attraction."
New York Power Authority Chairman John R. Koelmel said, "Lighting the grain elevators is another chapter in the remarkable success story that is Canalside. The elevators are on NYPA property and our engineers who helped advance this project are proud of what they helped accomplish."
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