Going “Green:” Washington Square’s Arch Making the Switch to LED Lighting



Update 8/6 12:36 p.m.: The LED lighting work has not begun yet but will at some point soon. Currently, the Arch is undergoing annual maintenance and restoration work. Will update on when the LED lighting project will begin. —

Work is scheduled to begin this summer to switch up the lights at the Arch to LED lighting in the interest of energy and monetary savings, environmental consciousness and aesthetics. And it looks like the work may have begun. This could also possibly be the annual maintenance of the 122 year old monument (or perhaps this will be combined). The switch to LED was scheduled initially to begin in July. The Arch is gated off and lift equipment has arrived and surrounds it. Awaiting confirmation from the Parks Department that this is occurring, so, for now, some information on the project.

The “relamping proposal” for the Arch at Washington Square Park is part of a citywide initiative for “energy efficiency upgrades” and is being paid for by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), according to Phil Abramson, a spokesperson for the city’s Parks Department. In addition to enhancing energy efficiency, the switch is being promoted as a way to provide “more reliant, consistent and effective lighting” for the structure. Completion of the work will take three to four weeks. Abramson said this is being handled by a contractor who was awarded the contract after taking place in a “public bid process” for this and other work at facilities around the city.

The cost of the work is expected to add up to around $50,000 (which sounds low).

According to the city’s Parks Department, the “benefits” of the new fixtures at the Arch will include:

Restoring the original lighting design

* Replace failing fixtures with more reliable, longer lasting modern equipment

* Maintain original aesthetic, providing uniform color and coherent light distribution

LED Technology = Go Green = Improved Quality Lighting

* The beam spread allows broader coverage and more defined light where directed

* Minimal maintenance requirement; expected 8-10 year life span

* Electric energy savings: will reduce 23.44 metric tons of CO2e Greenhouse Gas emissions annually

* Monetary savings: estimated to save the city $11,828 in annual electric costs

* Maintenance cost savings: will save in annual labor costs, equipment rentals, bird netting equipment

I am not sure how the change in lighting relates to the bird netting equipment (to keep bird droppings off the Arch). And I wonder about the CO2e Greenhouse emissions. (It could be so… it always feels like numbers around this end up being inflated.)

An image and outline of some of the work that will be done can be found here: current_conditions_arch_washington_square_relamping_proposal

Pictured, current lights at the Arch — there are also spotlights on the Fountain Plaza and shining from across the street at Fifth Avenue (these will be replaced also) :
Top Photo: Stacy Walsh Rosenstock
Other photos: Cathryn

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3 thoughts on “Going “Green:” Washington Square’s Arch Making the Switch to LED Lighting”

  1. I think this is a really positive initiative. It’s good for the park, the arch, and the environment… and I’m sure they’ll find a way regarding the birds’ net.

    Ah, I miss WSP 🙂

  2. Hi Ali,

    Yes, I think it’s good too. Thanks for your comment. I’m sure you miss the park and it sounds like the park and many other people miss you too!! Come back soon.



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