NYC has Omaha to thank for World Trade Center tower's lighting

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Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013 12:00 am

The silver spire hoisted to the top of New York's World Trade Center on Thursday contains the product of four years of work from a team of Omaha lighting engineers and technicians.

The Strong Lighting Division of Omaha's Ballantyne Strong, a company known mostly for its production of digital cinema equipment, was responsible for developing the beacon light that will rotate and shine horizontally like a lighthouse from the top of the tower, a symbolic 1,776 feet in the air. They also designed the mechanism to move the lights and the software to control them.

The building is rising at the site where the twin towers were destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. It is slated to open for business in 2014. The light fixture at the top of the spire, designed and engineered in Omaha to withstand wind and weather, is made up of 264 LED lights and mirrors to reflect them. The fixture was mostly built by contractors in New York and Boston. The whole spire is composed of 18 parts and weighs 758 tons.

“We're real proud of that project,” said Chris Stark, Ballantyne's senior vice president and chief operating officer. “It has, really, an impact across the world.”

This report includes material from the Associated Press.

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