Light Planning; Chinatown Little Italy Historic District
Light Planning and Community Involvement
Official map of the Chinatown Little Italy Historic District boundaries
The Chinatown Little Italy Historic District of New York City was designated in September 2009 by the National Register of Historic Places which allows building owners and community applicants to apply for grants to support the architecture and places of historic significance.
Known for its intersection of Italian and Chinese immigrant cultures, the new historic neighborhood is roughly bounded by Worth St., Lafayette St., E. Houston St. and the Bowery.
Two Bridges Neighborhood Council sponsored the application.
I am working with the Two Bridges organization to support the community in their quest to invite visitors and locals to the district by marking the area with wayfinding and lighting. Both neighborhoods, and the adjacent newly emerging Nolita, are filled with restaurants and night life that is not easy to find unless you know exactly where to go!
Chinatown: Existing conditions
Little Italy: Existing conditions
Light Projects is developing charrette and brainstorming techniques so that community members are enabled to focus on the after-dark experience of their districts and neighborhoods.
This workshop technique translates into a lighting master plan, lighting strategy and/or lighting guidelines.
Leni Schwendinger Light Projects' synopsis of goals and benefits of city lighting programs
The workshop for the the Chinatown Little Italy Historic District lighting session which was held April 19, 2010 is an example of our participatory approach. The results will be compiled into a map and report to come later.
1. Introduction to Light Projects LTD – what is a lighting designer?
2. A slide presentation including
“Night City”, a movie about light at night
Introduction to goals and benefits of lighting strategies
Little Italy/Chinatown Existing Conditions
Previous all-night research on the St. Patrick's Old Cathedral (Little Italy) area
3. Discussion:Historic District: What are the highest priorities for lighting in our neighborhood? What are our lighting principles?
5. Group and Paired Mapping Exercise
How do visitors and locals travel to destinations and what are those routes like at night?
Highlight Subway Stops
Highlight Gateways (Are evening gateways different?)
Locate Nighttime Activities (parks, etc.)
Description of routes including areas of concern/opportunities
Stakeholder group maps nighttime experience
Acknowledgment and thanks to Robert Weber, Two Bridges; convener of the workshop and Wylie Stecklow; Nolita Neighborhood Association. Robert and Wylie took photographs of the charrette which appear in this article.
Night City – a seven minute movie about the night and its light
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