‘Field of Light’ coming to proposed Midtown casino site will feature 17,000 colorful, illuminated ‘flowers’

Field of lights proposal for Midtown
Field of Lights installation by artist Bruce Munro in Paso Robles, California.
Serena Munro

A six-acre public art installation featuring 17,000 fiber-optic “flowers” will be installed on the East River waterfront in Midtown Manhattan later this year.

The “Field of Light” installation is planned to be incorporated into Freedom Plaza, a proposed mixed-use project including a casino, a hotel, two residential towers, and a human rights museum, according to Michael Hershman, CEO of the Soloviev Group, in a statement to amNewYork Metro.

The Field of Light, created by English-Australian artist Bruce Munro, will open to the public in October, according to Hershman. The installation is meant to “honor New York City as a beacon of freedom and hope around the world” and in doing so, will remain at Freedom Plaza for a year. Munro was inspired by the stars and described the proposed project as a “visual Eden.”

“With the light installation at Freedom Plaza in Manhattan, I intend to stimulate the imagination and senses of any viewer,” Munro said in a statement. 

Freedom Plaza is being developed by the Soloviev Group, a company spanning multiple business interests in real estate, hospitality, agriculture, and transportation. The group is currently the owner of the 6.7-acre open parcel of land from 38th to 41st Street on First Avenue, just south of the United Nations headquarters, where Freedom Plaza and its casino are being proposed.

“The unique six-acre site at Freedom Plaza provides a rare opportunity to showcase Bruce‘s inspirational and bold vision to New York City,” Hershman said in a statement. “We are thrilled to share the Field of Light exhibit with our community this fall.”

The casino is a proposed facility for New York’s downstate gaming license bid in partnership with gaming and entertainment company Mohegan Sun.

In a change of plans, the developers are nixing the proposed Ferris wheel and instead planning for more open green space.
“As a result of feedback received through dozens of community stakeholder meetings, we have removed the observation wheel from the design,” Hershman said in a statement. ‘This decision will allow us to increase open green space for the benefit of the community.”

The proposed museum will feature artwork from international artists regarding human rights and the advancement of freedom of speech, thought, and expression. There will be slabs from the Berlin Wall, and other significant historical artifacts.

The partnership between Soloviev Group and Mohegan aims to drive forward a “socially and environmentally responsible development” that will bring a new public open space, affording housing, and thousands of new jobs and economic benefits for a neighborhood accessible from Grand Central Station and the 34th Street Ferry.

Further details about the Freedom Plaza will be publicized in the coming months, according to the Soloviev Group. 

Michael Hershman, CEO of the Soloviev Group, at the proposed site for the Freedom Plaza, which would include an underground casino, a hotel, two residential towers, and a six-acre public art installation.Soloviev Group