Comment of the Day: Downtown in the Dark

COMMENT OF THE DAY: DOWNTOWN IN THE DARK “. . . Yes, before the recession the downtown buildings were ablaze all night. It was striking, if quite wasteful. Nowadays we can enjoy the contrast. The Houston skyline darkened at night continues its daytime conversation with sky, light, color and atmosphere. Our glass skyscrapers are our mountains — they reflect the changes in light and color and haze and brightness every day of the year. Dark at night, the effect is a continuum instead of a contrast. It’s subtle, and it’s nice.” [Miz Brooke Smith, commenting on What the Wells Fargo Tower Downtown Is Really Trying To Tell Us]

8 Comment

  • @ Ms. Miz, I like your poetic comment!

    Many of us are familiar with “Dark Sky,” a rating for outdoor lighting fixtures. This means lumens are directed where needed – NOT into the surrounding environment or sky.

    But it’s not just about shrouding outdoor lamps so that people can star gaze! Wildlife responds to our light, as well, and is disrupted by it in many ways.

  • I prefer the totally-lit look. There’s something comforting in a clean, well-lighted place (sorry, I can only allude to, not create, poetry– props to Ms. Miz!)

    I recently visited Calgary– that’s what I’d like my downtown to look like at night (lit-up) and day (pedestrian/bike paths galore, with real mountains for western horizon). Sigh…

    Anyone out there got a nuclear fusion plant in the works?

  • I think the Wells Fargo building looks awesome. I wish the whole downtown was lit up at night. It improves city morale. Not sure if it’s fitting for the energy capital of the world to go dark at night.

  • I think it looks better lit up to. It seems like the costs would be worth it considering how many people enjoy them. Even flights coming in/out would have a nicer view of our city. It’s like fireworks.. they aren’t necessary on the fouth of July, but it’s much prettier when we have them (despite the costs!)

  • We could light up all the downtown buildings at night on windy days if they had Hess tower type windmills on top. Then again, those sucked and broke.

  • I especially agree with Eric–I was just in Calgary last week and they’ve got a very nice downtown. Lights and buildings to me signify civilization, and I want to see them from as far away as possible. I understand the issues of dark skies and wildlife, but I’d still prefer bright shiny things. When I was about 12, we stayed with friends in New Orleans overnight, and for the first time I noticed the pink glow in the sky. I greatly preferred that to stars because it meant you were in the city, where there were things to see, and do, and an “outdoors” that had sidewalks and bus stops and steel and glass, not mud and snakes and poison ivy. Sigh. That discussion went off the rails a bit, but anyway, I do prefer Downtown lit up.

  • maybe me can roller skate so very fast enough downtown that it will make it glow! PRETTY!!

    ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM fire in the sky!


  • Nice thoughts about how pretty it looks… but remember the news stories about how financially wasteful it was for the downtown Library to have its lights and monitors on overnight (actually, during a timer glitch, but the story was still run)? And you don’t think there’ll be similar complaints about wasteful buildings leaving their lights on all night? I’m happy for the Transco beacon, which makes up for any number of every-office-light-turned-on buildings in my book!