The fate of Duke's 'Quadrille' artwork
The following article appeared in the May 11, 2022, edition of The Charlotte Ledger e-newsletter. Sign up today:
You ask, we answer: What’s the fate of the illuminating ‘Quadrille’ artwork on the side of the Duke Energy building?
Welcome to the latest installment of “You Ask, We Answer,” The Ledger’s attempt to help satisfy your burning development questions behind bulldozed blocks or mystery construction plans.
As we always say, there’s no rezoning request we can’t track down; no land sale we can’t sniff out. Have a question you’d like us to look into? Email us.
Here’s today’s question, sent in by reader Christopher Lawing of the Charlotte Signs Project. (Check out the Charlotte Signs Project’s exhibit, “Signs of Home,” currently on display at the Charlotte Museum of History):
What will happen to Duke Energy’s neon animated “Quadrille” artwork, with the building sold?
Great artsy question, Christopher!
Last week, Duke Energy announced that it has buyers for two of its uptown buildings, including its 13-story headquarters on South Church Street, which has a 40-foot square multimedia light sculpture on the side facing Stonewall Street.
Developer MRP Realty says it plans to convert the building into 425 loft-style residential units, retail and restaurants, and add a new 12-story tower of 125 “trophy apartments” on top of the existing office structure.
All that leaves the fate of the “Quadrille” unknown, although Duke Energy spokeswoman Caroline Portillo said the company’s plan is “to work with stakeholders to find a new home for the piece. It hasn’t yet been decided where it will be.”
“Quadrille” was unveiled on August 31, 1996, just in time for the Carolina Panthers’ first regular season game in what was then Ericsson Stadium, according to Charlotte Observer archives.
It was created by California artist Michael Hayden, who’s best known for the light display called “Sky’s The Limit” he designed along a walkway in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. (If you’ve been through O’Hare, you can surely picture it.)
“Quadrille” uses more than 1,000 feet of Plexineon colors and was programmed so that commuters never see the same sequence at the same time. In an Observer article published shortly after the unveiling, Hayden called the work “a visual dance.” In 2011, the artwork’s neon tubes were replaced by LED lights.
Maybe the visual dance will be moving to South End? —CB
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