SPOKANE, WA – As landmarks go, the Great Northern Clock Tower has demonstrated a remarkable ability to remain relevant to its community. Built in 1902 as part of a train depot, the 150’ tower was a source of civic pride during Spokane’s heyday as a major railroad hub. When the city demolished the depot in the 1970s, long after the sun had set on the rail era, the Tower was spared from the wrecking ball, and was later reborn as meeting place in the new Riverfront Park.
Recently, the pressed brick and sandstone structure became even more relevant to the cultural life of Spokane, when CHAUVET Professional COLORado 4 IP fixtures were used in a temporary install to bathe it in richly colored light for one of the city’s most popular events – The Lilac Bloomsday Run.
A 12-kilometer run that began 41 years ago, the Bloomsday attracts over 40,000 runners (professional and amateur) from around the world. Starting at the city’s downtown and proceeding to the far west end of town before heading back to central Spokane again, the race raises money for local charities. The majestic clock tower serves as a familiar landmark for runners on this route, in addition to being a popular evening gathering spot after the race.
By covering the tower with a purple-lilac hue, the COLORado fixtures helped strengthen the connection between the landmark and the signature event. “The clock tower and the race are both important to the community,” said Justin Haas of AMP’D Entertainment, who installed the fixtures. “It was a good feeling to see how colorizing the tower brought it closer to the race.”
Haas installed six Colorado 4 IP RGBW linear wash fixtures on a 10’ pole stand that was cemented into the ground next to the tower. “Power was not available at the stand,” he said. “So, we worked around this by securing a steel cable about 15’ in the air from one tree to another right next to the pole stand. We tied this cable to the closest power outlet, which was about 75’ away.”
Positioned 10’ above the ground, the COLORado 4 IPs had no trouble illuminating the top of the 150’ tower. “The throw distance of these fixtures is impressive,” said Haas. “Not only do the COLORados have an intense output, the 15° degree lens also adds a lot of punch to their coverage.”
Haas also noted that the white LEDs in the COLORado 4 IP help create a broader color palette, which made it easier to obtain the delicate lilac hues used for the Bloomsday run. “We were very happy with the natural authentic look of the colors,” he said. “They really made the tower blend into the theme of the event. People who walk by the tower every day stopped to give it an extra look. It was kind of a tribute to what you can do with color.”