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Pittsburgh City Hall to receive decorative lighting in time for Christmas |

Pittsburgh City Hall to receive decorative lighting in time for Christmas

Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Workers from the Pittsburgh and Allegheny County Department of Public Works stand at the ready as the city's Christmas tree is lowered into its base at the City-County Building Downtown on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. The tree was donated by Andrew Sujdak and Nancy Ruttner, of Oakwood neighborhood, who received the tree as a wedding gift 33 years ago.

Duquesne Light gave Pittsburgh an early Christmas gift this year with a donation of $150,000 worth of permanent lighting to illuminate the front exterior of the City-County Building, Downtown.

James Hill, special assistant to Mayor Bill Peduto, said LED lights will outline pillars, archways and seventh-floor windows and illuminate domes inside the building portico on Grant Street.

Hill said the gift was given in honor of the bicentennial of city incorporation in 1816 and to mark the opening of the City-County Building in December 1917.

“This year is the City-County Building’s 100th birthday,” Hill said. “We thought something really unique that we could do is highlight a lot of the architectural features.”

Peduto will turn on the lights and illuminate the city’s traditional Christmas tree Nov. 17 during the annual Light Up Night celebration. The tree lighting will take place for the first time after dark.

“Why we ever lit a tree in broad daylight has always been beyond me,” Hill said.

He said Duquesne Light’s donation, totaling $150,768, will permit the city to illuminate the building in any color on special occasions.

“We’re proud to partner with the City of Pittsburgh to commemorate the centennial of the City-County Building,” Duquesne Light spokeswoman Ashlee Yingling said.

She said the donation includes 34 permanent light fixtures, unlimited color options and a programmable system allowing the city to change color schemes.

Peduto credited Hill with clinching the deal.

“I have to give credit where credit’s due,” he said. “James Hill … was instrumental in working with Duquesne Light in order to be able to get this great gift.”

City Council on Tuesday introduced legislation that would permit the city to accept the gift.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312, or @bobbauder.

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