Historic District lighting – LPC hearing Tues Oct 11th – Report

October 11, 2022: Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) Chair Sarah Carroll ruled that the Trust’s GI lighting proposal needs more discussion and that no decision would be made at that meeting. The LPC supports the given goals of the plan, but the majority asks that the poles be re-studied in the context of landscape and historic buildings etc. The LPC asked TGI to come back with a different proposal or a reframing. Map and images below

Good work so far lovers of Governors Island who participated. More soon.

The hearing on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/CWYlqnF0Qxk
GI starting at @ 2:44:00

– Some of the written testimony submitted HERE. Great stuff!
– 10-21-22 followup letter to the Trust HERE
– Proposed lighting demonstration Slideshow HERE
– See the pre-hearing M.A.G.I.C. statement  HERE

Key considerations going forward:

– Darkness is beneficial and calming  to both humans and wildlife and should maintained as much as possible on GI.

– For at least Nolan Park and Colonels row, losing the “moonlighting” and using updated classic “tulip” (aka “acorn”) or other complimentary styled lighting on smaller poles ( discussed at the hearing ) like in Central Park would be worth the effort and much more desirable and beneficial for humans and wildlife. Map and images below.

– In the hearing discussion of the huge 35 ft poles proposed for Nolan Park and Colonels Row there was much focus on the wood material and the color. But the key issue is, as the Historic District Council points out, that these massive poles are out of scale and character with these areas. The proposed “moonlighting” is also out of character and is extremely intrusive.

– The Trust pointed out that the massive 35ft moonlighting poles would only be used in the historic district – but that’s exactly where they shouldn’t be.

– CB1 recently approved the TGI lighting proposal largely due to insufficient member familiarity with Governors Island and the lighting test installation – and the absence of an oposing presentation.

Here is the statement from The Historic District Council which sums things up very well:

“HDC finds the proposed lighting solution to be inappropriate within the Nolan Park and Colonels Row portions of the project. To be specific, we find the telephone poles to be out of scale and character with the Nolan Park and Colonels Row areas and we find the notion of the so-called moon lighting in these areas to be extremely out of character. We therefore ask the commission to require the applicant to find a more modestly scaled solution to path lighting within the two listed areas.”

Proposed lighting - Gi historic district
Oppressive “moonlight” fixture at top of pole currently in Nolan Park.
Proposed lighting - Gi historic district
Currently in Nolan Park.
Proposed lighting - Gi historic district
In Nolan Park. The proposed lighting temporarily switched on. The “moonlight” at top is anything but subtle.
current Nolan Park lighting style
Current Nolan Park lighting style

TGI lighting prosal map