Alex Goldmark is the senior producer of New Tech City, a storytelling show about how technology is changing society. Subscribe here to get New Tech City shows delivered right to your devices. Follow him on Twitter @alexgoldmark.
Check Out the Port Authority's New Times Square Look
Friday, June 24, 2011 - 06:57 PM
New York's legendary Port Authority bus terminal is getting a modern facelift. It's actually a bit more like an LED veil. The 61 year-old building will have a jumbotron-sized mesh of programmable lights draped over the facade, allowing the agency to play high resolution images and messages.
The neon look catches the building up a bit to its glitzy neighbors, like the soaring New York Times building across the street, designed by star architect Renzo Piano. The moving stream of neon on the terminal's exterior serves to simultaneously, and contradictorily, give the notoriously bunker-like building brightness and life while reminding older New Yorkers of a time when the 24-hour glow of 42nd street was a beacon of the city's seedier subculture.
The 6,000 square feet of mediamesh--an LED light array that allows ventilation into the building while projecting images outward--will also earn the agency extra revenue. Along with advertising, the mediamesh will provide information during emergencies and periodically promote charitable causes.