Thursday, May 12, 2011

Electric Makeover for Port Authority Bus Terminal

The world's busiest bus station is finally getting a facelift, and it's going glam.

A corner of the drab Port Authority Bus Terminal will soon be covered in a bright, 170-foot LED display, a look that's a little more Times Square than aging bus station.

The panel is set to be finished by mid-June and will mainly display ads. It will wrap around the building's corner at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, covering up a portion of the signature but utilitarian X-shaped tresses. LED lights that complement the ad panels will grace the rest of those facades.

The permanent display is made of something called Mediamesh, a woven steel mesh embedded with LED lights, which are invisible from inside the building.

For some New Yorkers, the makeover is long overdue. "It looks like a jail right now," said Angela Malave of the Bronx, who works across the street. "It just looks like an abandoned building... Some bright lights up there would definitely help.

Tony Ward of East New York, agreed. "The area could use some sprucing up," he said. "The building just looks like a parking garage, not the world-famous Port Authority. It's time for an update."

Ad revenue will be split between the Port Authority and A2aMedia, which will pay for, install and run the display. A Port Authority spokesman said the money will likely be used for repair and work on the bus terminal.

By Tim Herrera / AM New York
May 10, 2011