CEDAR RAPIDS — Downtown revelers were treated to an unexpected view for the Fourth of July celebration.
They got to see Cedar Rapids’ tallest building — the Alliant Tower — lit up with beams of red, white and blue lights shooting up its sides.
Alliant Tower is one of the dominant elements in the downtown skyline, highly visible to the thousands of motorists passing by each day on Interstate 380 and from just about anywhere near downtown.
Alliant Energy has been working for years to find the best way to illuminate the 21-story, 285-foot tall building to help accentuate downtown Cedar Rapids, company spokesman Justin Foss said.
“Finally, the technology improved so much we are able to put a special LED light on our building to help draw attraction to our community,” Foss said.
Technicians have been working on the installation project for several months, Foss said.
The bulbs have been installed in a temporary capacity as technicians have studied the best way to light the building, such as where to place the lights and how the beams would line up with the channels running vertically up the building’s four sides, Foss said.
Just 30 bulbs are needed, placed near the base of the building and shooting the light upward to create the visual effect, Foss said. Alliant plans to permanently install the light bulbs at some point in the future, he said.
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With the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival and the Fourth of July fireworks on Tuesday and Wednesday, it seemed like perfect timing to unveil the spectacle, he said.
“With all of the community coming downtown for fireworks and the festival, it seemed like a natural intersection,” Foss said.
Alliant did a test run Tuesday night. The lights were turned on around 5 p.m. and became noticeable as the sky darkened.
Foss said they are not sure yet how often the building will be lit up, but noted the bulbs can be changed to just about any color. The energy company still is working through a long-term plan for when the lights will be displayed, he said.
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