tampabay.com

Pier may be spectacle of colors, lights

By AARON SHAROCKMAN
Published June 14, 2006


ST. PETERSBURG - While the city debates the future of the Pier - namely, whether to replace the 33-year-old inverted pyramid - City Council member John Bryan is pushing a temporary fix.

This week, the council is expected to approve Bryan's plan to buy new outdoor lighting for the structure for $187,000.

Bryan, who has seen the lighting program in New York, said the lights can turn an absolutely pedestrian block building into a spectacle.

The lighting can change colors in a moment, and displays can be timed for the season, the day, or just the mood. Funding comes from unused state transportation money.

The lighting also can be moved, meaning it could light the Mahaffey Theater or other city buildings if needed

If approved Thursday, city officials expect the lighting to be in place by year's end.

Council members are considering how to spend $50-million for Pier improvements.

Aaron Sharockman can be reached at 727 892-2273 or asharockman@sptimes.com.