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Is downtown L.A. turning into the Las Vegas strip? A debate over flashing lights

March 27, 2011 |  3:37 pm

Talk back LA A new proposed high-rise development in downtown Los Angeles would push the limits when it comes to flashing lighting. The Times' David Zahniser reports the towers would put on their own light show:

The proposed downtown complex would include ads on a 45-story hotel and a 65-story office tower. If developers of the proposed billion-dollar Wilshire Grand project have their way, such colorful images as stars, butterflies and waterfalls would fade in and out along the upper floors of both their planned 45-story hotel and their 65-floor office tower, thanks to thousands of tiny lights embedded in the buildings' surface. Both skyscrapers would see their lowest 10 floors emblazoned with an array of commercial images, from flashing digital signs to streaming "news ribbons."

Supporters say the plan, modeled after similar technology on the Chanel building in Tokyo and the Cira Centre in Philadelphia, would bring energy and vibrancy to a stretch of downtown — the Figueroa Corridor — that already is being remade by the L.A. Live complex a few blocks to the south. Opponents say the plan would reopen the way for turning high-rise towers into massive versions of the electronic billboards that have generated protests in many parts of the city.

What do you think of the idea? Share your views here.

Illustration: The proposed downtown complex would include ads on a 45-story hotel and a 65-story office tower. Credit: Korean Airlines, Thomas Properties Group

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