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"Let There Be" Display Lights Up Market Street

Photo by Richard Li

Amidst the major civic revamp and influx of new tech companies flooding Mid-Market, is a new public works project that hopes to bring a little illumination to the once-shady 'hood. 

Let There Be—a new public installation from local artist Ben Davis and presented by Illuminate the Arts, the nonprofit producer of The Bay Lights—was installed Wednesday night below the roofline of the eastern wall of 1019 Market Street. Every night at sunset, the word "Light" will be projected beneath the "Let There Be" banner to finish the oft-quoted phrase, then replaced with a stream of images and video that reflect Market Street's long history and roster of creative residents. The video will run until midnight every night for one year. 

The chosen site for the interactive display is SF's Eastern Outfitting Building, designed by architect George Adrian Applegarth and built in 1909. With a stunning five-story bay window framed by Corinthian columns, 400 light bulbs were built into the 35 large window frames in the mid 1900s to illuminate the street below. Power to the lights was discontinued in the 1970s, but thanks to a recent revamp of the historical landmark, the lights have been replaced with LED bulbs and are ready to be turned on, bringing much needed illumination to Mid-Market. 

Watch the video below to see last night's big reveal: