SF’s beloved light sculpture The Bay Lights will shine for the last time this Sunday, March 5.
The 1.8-mile long, 500-foot-tall light sculpture has transformed the Bay Bridge into a giant canvas of dazzling abstract art, every evening for the past 10 years.
Despite its popularity, the sculpture is in bad need of repair with several sections currently broken and others badly deteriorating, according to the Chronicle’s Heather Knight . The Bay Lights are scheduled to come down permanently unless they’re able to raise $11 million from potential donors.
As Knight reported, the project is scheduled to sunset on March 5th, but Illuminate, an SF-based non-profit behind the project has a grand plan to bring it back better than ever as “Bay Lights 360.”
Illuminate’s founder, Ben Davis, wants to re-install “Bay Lights” with higher-quality lights that can better handle the elements and place lights on both sides of the cables, vastly expanding visibility to both north and south of the bridge.
The ambitious project will cost $11 million, which Davis hopes to raise from 10 wealthy donors at $1 each. Matt Mullenweg, a web developer who created WordPress, has already pledged $1 million towards the project.
The Bay Lights were designed by renowned light artist Leo Villareal, who is the mastermind behind light sculptures at SF’s Moscone Center, Exploratorium, and across the globe.
Time will tell if Davis and Illuminate are able to raise the funds in time. Until then, get out and appreciate The Bay Lights as often as you can, while you still can.
Featured image: Courtesy of Illuminate. Photo by James Ewing