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Street Lighting Downtown Newark Square

Historic-looking Holophane lighting
helps rejuvenate Newark’s downtown

While the downtown areas of many American cities have deteriorated as businesses and residents have headed for the suburbs, Newark, Ohio—a city of 45,000 located about 45 minutes northeast of Columbus—has continued to flourish. Much of the city’s success in attracting people to the downtown has been a conscious effort to beautify the Courthouse Square and surrounding areas.

“The Square is like a front yard for people who live and work downtown,” explained Terry Mooney, program coordinator, Community Development, City of Newark. “Picnic tables are available for thos who want to eat outdoors or simply sit and visit. In the summer, the Square is the site for numerous activities, including festivals, the Mayor’s Concerts at the gazebo, and Hot Rod Cruise-Ins.”

A high volume of foot traffic on the Square at night led to the decision to illuminate the walkways and the stairs to the Courthouse. The bid for the project was issued in 1995, with the lighting contract awarded to Gutridge Electric, Inc., Newark.

Brandstetter/Carroll, Inc., based in Lexington, Kentucky, served as the engineers for the project, with funding provided through a Community Development Block Grant.

Lighting fixtures installed are Holophane Granville® units with 175 watt metal halide lamps. The historic-looking fixtures feature an advanced optical system for precise light control, meaning the fixtures provide illumination where it is needed. The borosilicate glass refractor will not discolor because of heat or exposure to the sun.

A total of 20 fixtures are installed, four to illuminate the stone steps on each side of the Courthouse, and 12 along the Square perimeter. A double unit is installed on each of the four walkways that lead from the street to the Courthouse. All of the fixtures have cast iron Columbia-style poles, painted black, which will stand up to the elements.

“We chose the Granville units not only because Holophane is a local manufacturer, but because of the company’s reputation for quality. The fixtures have a period appearance that complements the look of the sandstone courthouse,” Mooney said.

Terry Frame, Newark Parks and Recreation superintendent, pointed out that one of the challenges in lighting the Square was working around the many trees and other obstacles, such as the flagpole, benches and picnic tables. Holophane’s Computer Aided Lighting Analysis (CALA) software was used to determine fixture placement.

“Because of the light control provided by the Granville fixtures, we were able to light the entire Square with a minimum number of fixtures—and without removing any trees. With the uplight that shines into the trees, it’s bright enough at night that someone could play lawn tennis,” Frame said.

To Mayor Frank Stare, who likes the look of the fixtures, security was the primary reason for installing the lighting system. “We wanted people to feel safe and to bring their families downtown at night. With the Holophane fixtures, I feel we have promoted that sense of security, and have instilled a greater sense of pride in our downtown,” Stare said.

Mooney noted that the Square is only one area where the Granville units have been installed. The units also illuminate popular sites such as historic Penn Station, Penn Station Park, the recently upgraded Municipal Parking Garage, the entrance to Newark High School Campus, Trinity Park, the entrance gates to Cedar Hill Cemetery, and Veterans Park where they provide street lighting. Most recently, Granville units have been installed along historic Hudson Avenue.

“Residents are beginning to see a continuity in various areas of the city. The Granville fixtures are elegant; they are a welcome addition wherever they are installed,” Mooney said.

On the Courthouse Square, all fixture wires are buried for aesthetic purposes. To facilitate vendors who set up booths during festivals held in the summer, 20 amp duplex receptacles were installed in the base of each lighting fixture, with receptacles covered by a removable face plate. The receptacles not only offer added convenience for vendors, but promote safety for visitors since there are no electrical cords stretched across the walkways.

Frame indicated that the Granville fixtures require little maintenance. The poles and lenses will be wiped down in the spring, and the lamps relamped as needed.

Besides the Granville units, plans call for Holophane Esplanade® fixtures to be used for street lighting on the one-way streets that wrap around the Square. This involves retrofitting 32 luminaires.

The new tear-drop style fixtures, which were originally designed by Holophane to illuminate the historic Embarcadero in San Francisco, have been tested on South Second and Walnut Streets for about a year and will be installed around the Square this spring.


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