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Iconic New York monument goes LED

Hail to the LEDs: Washington Square Arch commemorates the inauguration of Commander-in-chief George Washington as the first president of the US. With new LEDs, it will now help New York City in its battle cut electricity consumption and CO2 emissions.

New York City has relit its iconic Washington Square Arch with energy-saving LEDs.

The city’s Department of Parks and Recreation said the new lighting on the 120-year-old marble monument, modeled after Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, will save $12,000 a year in electricity costs. The project is part of a New York City plan to cut greenhouse emissions 80 per cent by 2050.

Several teams from the Parks department worked to adapt the new lighting in a way that minimised disturbances to the landmark.

‘The Energy and Sustainability Team worked closely with various divisions within Parks including Manhattan Operations, Arts and Antiquities, and Historic Preservation to ensure the new lighting system would have minimal impact on the structure, making use of existing pole-mounted, trench and cornice fixture locations,’ the Parks department said.

‘This environmentally friendly upgrade maintains the integrity of this historic structure, and contributes to Parks’ mission to reduce its carbon footprint,’ said NYC Parks commissioner Mitchell J. Silver.

NYC said it expects the lights to last eight to ten years and require little maintenance.

It did not reveal how much it spent for the upgraded lighting system, designed and manufactured by architectural lighting specialists ICON International of Rhode Island.

Washington Square Arch sits at the northern entrance to Washington Square Park in lower Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, at the foot of Fifth Avenue. It commemorates the inauguration of war hero General George Washington as the first president of the US.

It was designed by famed architect Stanford White, known for his American Renaissance style, and for dying at the hand of pistol-toting jealous millionaire industrialist Harry Kendall Thaw for White’s love affair with Thaw’s chorus girl wife, Evelyn Nesbit. Reporters dubbed the 1906 murder ‘the crime of the century.’

Photo is from Tupungato via Shutterstock