All Lit Up

By Jason Schwartz | Boston Magazine |

For a city with so much heritage, Boston has never lit its historic sites well. This amazed lighting designer Lana Nathe when she moved here a decade ago from Chicago. She noticed then that certain fixtures—like those at the Bunker Hill Monument—were even hidden behind bushes. Though she’s seen slight improvements in the past 10 years, Nathe, the principal at Light Insight Design Studio in South Boston, is now out to "speed up the process." More like put it into overdrive.

On 10/1, as founder of the Illuminale Boston festival, Nathe kicks off a five-day celebration that will set the city aglow. Working with more than 35 local designers, she’ll cast 10 buildings and bridges along the waterfront—from the Custom House to Rowes Wharf to South Station—in glorious light from multicolored (and energy-efficient) LEDs. "We’re going to reveal architecture in a way people haven’t seen before," says Nathe, who’s been working on the idea for a year and a half. "It creates a new energy, and people are going to see things in a different light. I mean, literally."