May 21, 2018 | Atlanta, GA
The T-E-C-H letters atop the Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Administration Building are being replaced, beginning today. The interior lighting components are switching to a newer technology, but the new letters will have a look and feel like the old ones. The project is expected to take six days, depending on weather conditions. Tech Tower will remain open for business.
“We are making the change because it was becoming harder and harder to find replacements for the old lighting technology,” said Fenella Bryant, construction project manager, Facilities Design & Construction. “Also, because of how the letters were wired, we were having to replace two different strands each time a single strand went out in order to maintain color consistency and clarity.”
The new letters will be less cumbersome from a maintenance perspective, while also being more consistent and durable. But they will not look noticeably different; they still will be neon, ensuring that the color is not altered.
“It was a tough decision to not completely revamp the letters to match the latest design styles and lighting technology,” said Bryant. “However, tradition won over trend, and we opted to ensure a consistent look and feel to our beloved and iconic Tech Tower letters. We purposely chose a lighting system that would allow us to replicate visually what is currently in place.”
The process to remove and replace the letters is a two-phase one: Phase 1 (on the west side of the tower) requires a 60-ton crane, and Phase 2 (on the north side of the tower) requires a 45-ton crane to facilitate this task. Some tree branches close to Tech Tower will be removed to allow better access.
Tech Tower was one of the original buildings when Tech opened its doors in October 1888. In 2015, the building was closed for more than a year to undergo a major renovation.