Philadelphia Beacons (1999)

by Ray King (b. 1950)

Photo Caption: Photo © Association for Public Art
  • Title

    Philadelphia Beacons

  • Artist

    Ray King (b. 1950)

  • Year


  • Location

    Avenue of the Arts, South Broad Street at Washington Avenue

  • Medium

    Electra polished stainless steel, laminated glass sheets, on black granite bases

  • Dimensions

    Height 41′; width 6′

  • Themes

    Functional Public Art

Commissioned by the Avenue of the Arts, Inc. with the City of Philadelphia, Office of Arts and Culture

Owned by the City of Philadelphia

At A Glance

  • Four 41′ tall holographic glass and stainless steel torches, one on each corner of Broad Street and Washington Avenue

  • The glass tiles are laminated with a holographic film that refracts light into colors


Four 19-ton glass and steel torches tower more than 40 feet on each corner of Broad Street and Washington Avenue. The holographic film on the sculpture’s glass panels reflect light from the sun during the day, and the artwork is illuminated at night. Designed by Philadelphia-based artist Ray King, Philadelphia Beacons stand as a gateway in South Philadelphia to the Avenue of the Arts. King is known for his work with light and sculpture.

This public artwork was commissioned by the Office of Arts and Culture, which selected Ray King from more than 450 applicants in 1994. However, due to a legal dispute, the Beacons were not installed until 1999.

Photo © Association for Public Art

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