Thursday, June 30, 2005

Los Angeles Once Again - City Of Lights! DWP Building Lights (mostly) Turned On!!

After years of darkness, the lights of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power headquarters and its fountains were turned on tonight. Not turned, on, though, (due to still needed restoration) were some of the exterior lights that are particularly spectacular.

The occasion was a black-tie-dinner at the Music Center across the street to celebrate tomorrow's inauguration of Antonio Villaraigosa and to raise funds for LA's Best, the after school program. The reason was that after the lights had been turned off during a power shortage - even though there was never any power shortage at night - it had became politically impossible for the DWP to re-light the building.

So while the city spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to re-light neon signs that can only been seen by a handful of people, the most spectacularly lighted building in LA (visible from many parts of the city) has remained dark.

However, after Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council voted to ask the DWP to re-light the building and its fountains at night, Ron Deaton agreed to turn on the lights for tonight's event. It is up to the powers that be to decide if the building and its fountains should be re-lighted - forever.

UPDATE - Daily News has photo of building:,1413,200~20954~2947509,00.html


dgarzila said...

No offense Brady , but how about saving our money. Saving on electricity.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the Department of Water and Power building has been illuminated since the 2 weeks during the 1984 Olympics. It's about time the city put more effort in presenting a better face to people, be they Angelenos or visitors, and relighting a major site in downtown will help further that goal.

If the Water and Power building were in a city like New York or London, not only would it always have been kept lit at night, but its fountains would have been timed to operate far more than a few hours per day. Why we in Los Angeles, by contrast, put less effort into the way our environment is managed and maintained is discouraging and sad.

Brady Westwater said...

Thanks for bringing up the comparasion to the great cities of Europe. In civilized cities, all the great buildings and monuments are lit at night, unlike in Los Angeles.

I might add that the Daily News article has a nice shot of the building in the background, so I will add that link to the bottom of the post. Lastly, we are also working with Jan Perry's office to get Disney Hall lit up at night.

Rich Alossi said...

To the first poster, Dgarzilla --

Sure, it's an expense to light the building up at night.

But the increased talk among visitors and tourists to the area about how beautiful our downtown is will surely more than make up for the cost in added sales tax revenue, hotel bed tax revenue, et cetera.

You have to realize the value of doing something like that, not just the out-of-pocket cost of it.

And, admittedly, the DWP's lighting up the building isn't going to draw thousands of tourists on its own.. it has to be a whole district-wide effort to light historic buildings at night in addition to other things that can be a draw.

Also, lighting up dark buildings at night helps deter crime.