Iconic Philly Department Store Building Adds Gorgeous LED Digital Entry Canopy

Love this – the main entry to an iconic old department store building in Philadelphia was updated with a digital canopy and flanking displays, and now runs gorgeous custom creative.

The former Lit Brothers Department Store was a cultural landmark that operated for nearly a century in Philly before closing its doors. Now renovated, revitalized, and rebranded as The Lits Building, the mixed-use structure is a big part of redevelopment efforts in the city’s Market East District.

Philly-based interactive studio Blue Cadet, which I know more for work in museums and galleries, was asked to “design a digital entry marquee that evokes the historic building’s early twentieth-century heyday while incorporating twenty-first-century technology. The result: an entrance where architecture, art, and technology work in unison to activate a new sense of place.”

There is no detail in the case study online about the project that goes into the tech, but it has to be reasonably narrow (or fine) pixel pitch LED, particularly given it is suspended facing down. No can do with LCD and this is not a set-up that would be projection-friendly.

The library of content includes historical imagery, interpretations of traditional architectural ornament, and site-specific artwork. Blue Cadet also hired local artists and did a live capture of their murals being painted, to also use as video sequences.

LED is finding its way into a lot of commercial spaces, but it has tended to almost always be either:

  • Feature walls in building lobbies;
  • Revenue-generating ad boards hung on the sides of buildings, with Times Square the most obvious scenario.

Award-winner, if Blue Cadet enters …