West Hollywood Lights Up Boystown

Photo by Jon Viscott, courtesy of the City of West Hollywood

The City of West Hollywood is welcoming the new year with the installation of permanent year-round decorative lanterns above Santa Monica Boulevard in the Boystown nightlife district between

North Robertson Boulevard and Hancock Avenue.

“The new festive lights on Santa Monica Boulevard are bright, happy, and colorful, and arrived just in time for a new year and a new decade,” said Mayor John D’Amico in an announcement of the installation. “Every night they will light up West Hollywood’s ‘Rainbow District’ to be sure. But, more importantly, they illuminate — with tremendous pride — our city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, heritage, and history.”

According to the announcement, the LED devices are programmable either as individual lanterns or entire strands of lights, which will allow the city to recognize national events or celebrations that traditionally use signature colors. All lanterns have UV protection to prolong the life and ensure clarity of the shield around the light fixtures. In addition, the lanterns feature easily replaceable fixtures and are custom-made in the United States of commercial-grade construction to withstand the elements for successful permanent exterior installation. The lanterns are engineered to meet the weight and wind-load requirements of existing light poles to which they are attached and are compliant with fire safety regulations.

Illumination for the globes will be set to rotate in rainbow colors in an embrace of the neighborhood’s LGBT community and bars, restaurants, and businesses.

“Since incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has become one of the most influential cities in the nation in advocating for the rights of LGBT people — no other city of its size has had a greater impact on the national public policy discourse on fairness and inclusiveness for LGBT people,” the city said in an announcement of the lights in Boystown.

“The ‘Rainbow District’ in West Hollywood in and around Santa Monica Boulevard has, for decades, been a thriving hub of LGBT businesses and nightlife and new lighting will enhance the neighborhood at nighttime.”

Some city officials and business leaders have pushed for the Boystown district to be redesignated as the “Rainbow District” so as not to focus solely on the city’s gay male population.

The city identifies itself as having a large LGBT community. The 2019 Community Survey reports that 43% of the population fits within the LGBT designation.  Of the city’s overall population, 33% identifies as gay men while 4% identifies as lesbians, 3% as transgender, and 3% as “gender fluid.”

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Eric Jon Schmidt
8 months ago

There are two dark and deadly crosswalks on the eastside. The City Council should take care of public safety issues before spending taxpayer money on projects that only benefit the businesses
in boystown. Actually the Businesses should have paid for the lights.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
8 months ago

agreed.

Landry
Landry
8 months ago

Where exactly? Because I think I know which ones you refer to

Jesse
8 months ago

Love the lights! So happy they are staying up permanently. Adds a nice artistic and colorful touch to our lovely artsy town.

AMC
AMC
8 months ago

I agree with Woody 100%, that this is a great idea but the lamps look faded & cheap. They remind me of the lights strung over a used car parking lot. Wealthy West Hollywood could do so much better. that’s for sure.

JF1
JF1
8 months ago

Nice idea. Do wish they spent a little more in the execution (if you’re going to do it…do it right)..the fixtures themselves look cheap and unimpressive.

Ham
Ham
8 months ago
Reply to  JF1

just like the roundabouts they added. super cheap and a waste of $$$. Have zero faith in WH government.

Jack Cline
Jack Cline (Jackie O (o.m.g)
8 months ago

The lights are beautiful and fun, just like me – JACKIE O (o.m.g.)

Jason K
Jason K
8 months ago

I don’t understand why some people are complaining. I think the lanterns look great and I am happy they will be up all year long. I guess for some people nothing will ever make them happy.

Jeff Aubel
Jeff Aubel
8 months ago
Reply to  Jason K

Because West Hollywood is chock full of complainers. The City could give them $50k a year to live, and they’d complain it wasn’t enough.

Vigilant
Vigilant
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Aubel

As of 2018 the city indicated $197,968. in your column as compensation for attending to Code Compliance issues, generally thought of as “complaints”. Perhaps there is some sensitivity there. Many recall inaction on many issues brought to your attention.

On the other hand, there seems to be an overabundance of complainers in this rather entitled enclave with comparatively few recommending valid solutions for the community beyond themselves.

David Pagel
David Pagel
8 months ago

So want this to succeed but afraid it will great too much glare in already dangerous area for cars and pedestrians.

Barry
Barry
8 months ago

The lights are nice for the holiday. However, they should be taken down during the rest of the year to give the gays something to look forward to, instead of alcohol and drugs.

Ham
Ham
8 months ago

more wasted money. ramp up police presence…….and focus on basic services. this part of WH is not frequented by all.

Susan Levine
8 months ago

Love the lights! They counteract the news.

Observer
Observer
8 months ago

Saw the lights illuminated last night. They’re great !

Steve B
Steve B
8 months ago

I was just driving down the Boulevard commenting on how festive and happy the lights made me feel. I said “too bad they weren’t here year round” and then I see this article. I’m happy to see that the City of West Hollywood is doing something to make the Boulevard even more welcoming! Well done!