Standing in the middle of the plaza people can see two of the city's great landmarks: the Flatiron and Empire State buildings. It is a spot to experience the magnificence of the urban plan ' with a straight shot view of Broadway cutting diagonally through the famous grid. And because Madison Square Park creates a clearing in the urban fabric, the plaza is one of the few places in the heart of the Manhattan to see the skyline from street level.
Our public art installation 'New York Light' pays tribute to the special urban experiences from this one-of-a-kind vantage point.
Designed to echo the form of the plaza's namesake building, the prow of the structure frames the Flatiron. At the other end, the steel tube installation opens northward on Broadway outlining a view of the Empire State.
Hundreds of mirror-finished panels hang from the structure so visitors standing inside can see these views surrounded by partial reflections of the immediate neighborhood. For the city that never sleeps, animated LEDs illuminate the structure at night inviting opportunities to take dramatic photos with friends or of oneself with the plaza's urban landscape in the background.
In addition to providing passersby with special views of the area, 'New York Light' serves as an illuminated backdrop for events. Performers stand at the north end while the structure provides a visual buffer to traffic along 23rd St.
The beautiful quality of light in the evenings comes from the many residential buildings facing the plaza. They cast a subtle glow compared to flashier more commercial squares along Broadway - and the light is more indicative of the public spaces in the city's many residential neighborhoods. It's this quality that 'New York Light' tries to literally reflect.