Namsan Park’s future is written in lights

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Namsan Park’s future is written in lights

By this time next year, Namsam Park will be ablaze with light. As part of an ambitious plan to attract more tourists to Seoul, a two year renovation will begin next September. More lighting will be installed on Mount Namsam to further illuminate the circular roads around the summit.
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The project is being funded by the Seoul Metropolitan Council, which will also build two additional cable car tracks to take passengers from near the No. 3 tunnel to the cable car platform on Namsam.
Seoul city plans to install the lights by November 2007 and will illuminate the mountain with a “screen of lights.” The lights will be lit for 10 minutes every hour between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.
In addition, streets on the southern side of the circular roads will be turned into a “lighted street of joy, anger, sorrow, and pleasure.”
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Lights between the pavilion plaza and the entrance to the southern side of the circular roads will be designed to portray the Milky Way (joy); the upper ridgeline of the circular roads will have lights portraying fearful images (anger); the lower ridgeline of the roads will have lights with many colors (sorrow) and optical fibers will be used to illuminate the roads to the National Theater of Korea to add liveliness (pleasure). In total, these lights will stretch for a distance of 380 meters.
By 2008, four fire beacon towers will be restored in addition to the fire tower that is already at the plaza. The plaza, located at the top of the mountain, will also house a permanent armory exhibition including swords and flame throwers used during the war of resistance against the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592.
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A “sky walk” mid-air bridge will be built near the ground observatory deck that forms part of the Seoul N Tower.
Art installations will also be set up from Sopa Street to the National Theater of Korea and from the Namdaemun gate to the Millennium Seoul Hilton hotel.
Again by 2008, nine streets including those to Namsam from Seoul Station and the Namdaemun gate will be renovated to provide easier access to Namsam.
Sopa and Sowol Streets, which now have four lanes, will be reduced to two to three lanes to allow for pedestrian walkways. The street from Baekbeom Plaza to Patriot Ahn Choong-gun Memorial Hall will also become a pedestrian street.
The one-way street in front of the Millennium Seoul Hilton hotel will be turned into a two-way street. A pedestrian overpass near the Grand Hyatt Seoul hotel will be removed, and a crosswalk installed.
“After the renovations, I hope Namsam will become an international attraction like Cheonggyecheon stream,” said Kim Byeong-il, a director of the culture department at Seoul Metropolitan Council.


by Lee Soo-ki
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