Graduate students from the Lighting Research Center (LRC), part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will present a second public forum and a lighting demonstration in Bennington, Vermont to examine the idea of lighting the Bennington Battle Monument. The forum will be held at 7:00pm on Wednesday, November 20, 2002 at the Bennington Fire Station.
In September, the LRC held an initial forum in which acting director Russell Leslie acquainted residents
with the Lighting Research Center and explained the LRC’s role in exploring the issues involved in lighting the 306-foot Revolutionary War monument.
“Rather than take a position on the idea, the LRC has been examining the social, political, economic, and technical issues
surrounding any plan to light the monument, said Professor Leslie, who is also a Bennington area architect. “After listening to concerns and questions at the first forum, we went to work finding answers.”
Two LRC graduate classes are involved in the project. Professor Leslie’s “Lighting Workshop” class gathered concerns and questions presented at the first meeting. The students then studied the issues raised and prepared a presentation to be made at the second forum. Those issues include cost, energy efficiency, light pollution, appearance, and maintenance. The students also looked at other communities that have illuminated similar monuments.
Professor Janet Lennox Moyer’s advanced lighting design class developed a lighting design to demonstrate what the monument could
look like if it is illuminated. Professor Moyer is an internationally acclaimed lighting designer. Moyer says the students considered all of the issues raised as they developed their lighting design.
The students will present their findings between 7:00 and 8:30 pm on Wednesday at the fire station. After discussing policy, economic, tourism, and aesthetic issues, they will move the meeting to the monument and demonstrate their proposed lighting design.
“The best way to show what the monument would look like is to actually light it,” said Michael Myer, a graduate student
in Professor Moyer’s class. “Our design is what we would recommend if residents decide to light it.”
The LRC’s involvement is designed to serve as an educational opportunity for its graduate students, and as a source of objective
information for Bennington residents.
“The Battle Monument is an important landmark in the region.” said Leslie. “We hope our work will help area citizens be
fully informed before they make a decision about lighting it.”