Bright (New) Lights, Big City

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Say what you will about the time it’s taking to update the Soldiers & Sailors Monument and its surroundings (and everyone has), but the changes will be lovely once complete.

The latest example of this: the lighting. Long the scene for a romantic stroll or horse-and-carriage ride downtown—or, well, for buzzing about on one’s crotch rocket—the Circle is receiving an elegant update in the street lights lining it.

Witness the before and after photos here. Some dusty, dim baubles straight out of the ‘80s formerly encircled the bricks, also lining the near stretches of Meridian and Market Streets. Now we’ll have traditional lamps adorning the space that are staid but sophisticated.

It’s the subtly perfect complement to the neighboring edifices: the stately Christ Church Cathedral, the vaunted Hilbert Circle Theatre, and the impeccable Columbia Club. By comparison now, our own Emmis Communications building and the IPL headquarters look borderline-futuristic.

Come Super Bowl week, Monument Circle will be a respite from the hustle of downtown for those who like their urban living a bit on the Pleasantville side. When the cranes and the fences are stripped away in late October, that’s what the Circle will achieve: a 1920s-to-‘50s feel that is surreal and calming.

For another take on the Circle’s facelift, see Deborah Paul’s column in the August issue of the magazine.

What are your own thoughts on the new lights?

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