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Remember the Triforium? It's Still Waiting to Shine

September 15, 2006

The lights are back on at the pylons towering above the entrance to Los Angeles International Airport.

But another famous piece of lighted L.A. artwork isn't faring as well.

The Triforium is hard to miss at the downtown Civic Center.

It rises six stories and weighs 60 tons, a three-pronged concrete-and-crystal tower at Temple and Main streets. Its 1,494 light bulbs hidden behind colorful Italian glass prisms were designed to pulsate to music (including classical and disco) piped from loudspeakers.

But since Day One, it has been dogged by technical glitches.

Unveiled in 1975, it cost nearly $1 million. Like the airport pylons, the Triforium has had its share of critics ("the Psychedelic Nickelodeon" and "the Trifoolery" were two nicknames).

When it opened, officials envisioned regular public events at the Triforium. Although that hasn't occurred, there has been some talk in recent years of refurbishing it and staging performances.

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