By Andy McKeever
Thursday, May 17, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Lightscapes has reached its fundraising goal.
Now, City Hall, Dunham Mall, and Park Square will be lit up with new LED lighting. The organization raised $51,320 in two months, and that will be matched by MassDevelopment for the three projects.
Further, the organization is now in conversation with the owners of a number of downtown buildings about expanding the light project to those locations as well.
“We had a very wonderful response from people who gave anywhere from $25 to $100,” said Elie Hammerling, who headed the effort.
Some 159 donors contributed to the non-profit’s fundraising efforts. That includes donations from Berkshire Bank, Greylock Federal Credit Union, and Mill Town Capital.
Hammerling said the plan is to now work on the purchase of equipment. The installation will be phased in, likely starting with City Hall, followed by Dunham Mall, and concluding with Park Square.
“The goal would some time late or mid-fall this year,” Hammerling said of when the lights will be turned on.
The organization describes the lightings as “artistic, tasteful, LED lighting. The fixtures bring additional lighting to those downtown areas and Hammerling said he’s been in discussion with the Office of Cultural Development about holding performances like dancing, music, and school events at the locations.
Following the installation, the city will take care of the regular maintenance.
The organization had tested out some of the technology at 100 North Street late last year. That brought a color kinetic lighting fixture which provides an array of color options and can be synced up.
The lighting at City Hall, Park Square, and Dunham won’t be nearly as elaborate as that, but that other downtown building owners may be looking to do similar lighting on their buildings, all of which is eyed to be coordinated together.
Should that come to fruition, all of the buildings involved would be connected by a common module to ensure produce a light scheme that meshes with each other.
“We are in discussion, planning, and putting together who does what, phase of things,” Hammerling said. “We are making progress.”
At Dunham Mall, the light will be artistically done and illuminate the pedestrian corridor. City Hall currently has a white light on its facade but that will be added to with the front of the building and railings to highlight the architecture of the building.
At Park Square, it will be a mix of both. It will have artistic lighting in the park itself and then uplighting to highlight nearby architecture – and a particular light to face the Civil War monument.
Berkshire Lightscapes estimates that it will cost $34,000 for Dunham Mall and City Hall and another $61,000 for Park Square.
“We expect all of it will be accomplished with that $100,000,” Hammerling said.