Illuminate CLE Lighting Installation in Downtown Will Debut in August

It will be one of three soft previews before the project is unveiled next spring

click to enlarge An image from a preview event - Courtesy Destination Cleveland
Courtesy Destination Cleveland
An image from a preview event
Illuminate CLE, the $7-million large-scale lighting installation from Destination Cleveland that has now been in the works for about a year, will make a soft launch in Public Square this August during the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Association Executives, the organization announced this week at its annual meeting.

Envisioned to eventually include soft light displays on buildings and aerial visual effects not only in Public Square but also in Playhouse Square, down Euclid Ave. and on Mall B, the installations will get additional previews during Rock Hall induction week and during downtown's WinterLand festival, an event that served as inspiration to expand activation during the rest of the calendar year.

Destination Cleveland has pointed to Indianapolis, Montreal and other cities that have deployed lighting installations to showcase their cities in a different shade come nightfall, with the added benefit of improved safety conditions thanks to well-lit areas and more pedestrian traffic.

But don't get Destination Cleveland wrong, the main motivation is to create something memorable.

“How do we take a place that already is wonderful and make it more desirable to be used after dark?” David Gilbert, Destination Cleveland's CEO, told Cleveland.com last year. “We want to take advantage of the architecture that we already have, with something as beautiful as Public Square and Euclid Avenue and put icing on the cake.”

After the three preview exhibitions, Illuminate CLE is scheduled to debut in full form next spring. Residents and visitors can expect not only soft lighting but thematic "shows" tied to various events and holidays.

Vincent Lighting Systems, which is based in Solon and installed the Terminal Tower's artistic lighting, is creating the Illuminate CLE project.

Funding has come from Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, KeyBank, the Cleveland Foundation and Sherwin-Williams.

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Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
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