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Like it or Don't? It's a Mix on Gazebo Roof Lighting as Readers Speak Out

When lights appeared at the entryway to Middletown's Harbor Park tunnel, some said it created an eye-catching structure, while others characterized it as cheesy, too tacky and harsh on the eyes.

The entryway to Middletown's Harbor Park tunnel to the Connecticut River.
The entryway to Middletown's Harbor Park tunnel to the Connecticut River.

When Middletown Patch tackled the appearance of a new roof outline lighting at the entrance to the Harbor Park tunnel walkway, we received an array of opinions of the display — from bold and forward-thinking while others termed it more like a carnival ride.

The goal of illuminating the green steel pavilion at night is to bring attention to Middletown and the Connecticut River from Route 9 and provide a gateway to Main Street, according to William Russo, director of Middletown Public Works. 

And there's more lighting on the way — "We will also be installing a sign on the gazebo that says Middletown, and it will be lit at night," he said.

Here's what Middletown Patch readers had to say:

John: Like the structure and the original white lighting which illuminated the entrance. The fluorescent outline is too much. Looks more like a carnival ride. They could have used a softer landscape lighting to "wash" the roof outline. 

Sarah: I agree. The color changing lighting they had when it first opened was pretty gaudy. Now it's far too bright with the outlining. Just leave well enough alone and stop reminding us it's there at night. Like John said, could be another 30 years before we see any other indications that there is a riverfront plan.

Ian: I think there's plenty of other things we should be spending our money on first, besides a light-up roof for a tunnel downtown.

Laura: Maybe they're solar? 

Salena: More lights is a ridiculous way to spend $$$! Shame on the city.

Kris: The lighting as is seems to be just fine. I would be interested in knowing if the lights are solar-powered.

Bill: Like 'em!

David: With the desire to light up everything in Middletown, the question that arises is, "is someone afraid of the dark?"

Michael: I like them. I must say the Canoe Club is looking like a dump lately and I think the town should come down on them or doze it down.

Darrell: I love them. Also they are probably energy-efficient. Old folks can't handle the future.

Nathaniel: Why draw more attention to it? Save the money for other issues.

Tues: Can't imagine their electric bill, of wait, the people in town pay the bill through taxes

Krista: I think it looks like it belongs in an amusement park.

Jessica: I think it is important to create a sense of identity for the tunnel, especially with the plans being established to revitalize our riverfront. The gazebo was a great way to accomplish that, and of course it should be lit at night. 

However, I agree with Molly Salafia and Catherine Johnson about the current lighting design being a little too harsh; I don't think a fluorescent outline was completely necessary for creating a sense of place in this situation. The brightness makes the gazebo stand out too much from the surrounding buildings and infrastructure — perhaps something softer would be more appropriate.

Patrick: Let's light the bridge! C'mon, mayor I can get it done!

T. Smith: Personally, I like it. It is absolutely the #1 eye-catching structure as you drive Route 9 (with the obvious exception of the Arrigoni Bridge). The lighting is bold and forward-thinking. Signage proclaiming this place as Middletown harkens back to the days of train stations when getting someplace was an ARRIVAL and not just 'getting there'. Keep moving and thinking forward. Nice job.

Kimberly: I dislike the current lighting of the gazebo roof. It looks too cheesy, too tacky and harsh on the eyes. The lighting should be warmed up a bit. It doesn't look inviting at all. It screams bad lighting. It looks out of place with the surrounding buildings and the downtown architecture. Let's not waste tax payers dollars on such nonsense. Light the way safely. This is not Broadway after all.

Tom: The current lighting is tacky at best. Listen to Johnson and Salafia carefully. They have the training. Architectural lighting is best left to the pros!

What do you think of the decorative lighting along Middletown's Harbor Park walkway roof? Tell us in the comments section below.

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My Opinion January 21, 2014 at 07:47 AM
Now you can get mugged in the light (decorative of course).
Think Before You Speak January 21, 2014 at 08:00 AM
How about taking off the outer lighting and just go with a soft glow lighting underneath both the peak of the structure and the bigger section as well?
Ian Battles January 21, 2014 at 03:45 PM
It looks great if you like that "1980's amusement park" look
Gazebo Lover January 21, 2014 at 05:38 PM
Has a very Vegas feeling... softer lighting might be better than neon?

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