The Diamond Necklace

diamond_necklace_bigThe Diamond Necklace is a detailed plan to implement our vision of an illuminated Boston. In the nineteenth century, the renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted envisioned a system of linked parks and open spaces for Boston, to create a splendid chain of green throughout the city. Olmsted called his vision the Emerald Necklace, and it has become one of Boston’s most treasured features.

Light Boston sought to beautify through illumination its landmarks, structures and public spaces and like Olmsted’s vision, we called it the Diamond Necklace. A Plan for lighting 25 Cultural and Historic Sites in Downtown Boston was presented in Phase one of Illuminating Boston: the Diamond Necklace Project.

View the Diamond Necklace plan (pdf 10.7 mb): here

Table of Contents

The Diamond Necklace Project
Vision, Purpose, Intent 1
Phase One: The First 25 “Jewels” of the Diamond Necklace 2
Map of the 25 Phase One Sites 6

Recommendations for Illuminating the First 25 Jewels of the Diamond Necklace
Ames Building 8
The Boston Athenaeum 10
Boston City Hall 12
Boston Public Library (McKim Building) 14
Boston Visitor’s Center 16
Chinatown Gateway 18
Custom House and Square 20
East Cambridge Viaduct 22
Filene’s Department Store 24
First Harrison Gray Otis House 26
Flour and Grain Exchange Building 28
Fort Point Channel and Sea Walls 30
Granary Burying Ground and Gateway 32
Hancock House / Boston Stone 34
Long Wharf / Custom House Block 36
Longfellow Bridge 38
New Old South Church 40
Old South Building 42
Old South Building Meeting House 44
Old State House 46
Old West Church 26
Paramount Theatre 48
Sears Crescent Center 50
The State House 52
Trinity Church 54

Designing the Necklace: Models, Process, Consensus
Shining Success Stories in and Around Boston 57
The Site-Selection Process 61
Implementing the Diamond Necklace: Partnerships, Maintenance, Review and Regulation 65

Lighting Guidelines and Resources
Good Lighting Defined 69
Illuminating Landmarks: Iconic Buildings, Spaces, and Structures 70
Light Sources, Fixtures, and Controls 72
Boston’s Public Street Lighting 75
Lighting Techniques 77

Appendix
Site-Selection Scoring System 80
A Glossary of Lighting Terminology 84