LIGHTS OUT for a classic Crook

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When NYC’s Department of Transportation wants something gone, it’s gone, and there’s not much you can do. Even though the DOT has been spending a couple of decades installing retro versions of the major genres of old-fashioned NYC lampposts that dominated the streets from 1910-1950 — bishop crooks, long-armed Corvingtons, Twinlamps and Type F reverse-scrolls, it almost never misses a chance to tear down the few real McCoys that have somehow survived the relentless push to modernize.

This Type 24M Bishops Crook post at State and Bridge Streets opposite Battery Park attracted a number of faithful followers on ForgottenTour 35 in the summer of 2008, which documented a number of surviving old-school posts in lower Manhattan.

This is a 1978 view from the Bob Mulero collection. Along the way, the post lost its Bell luminaire, its orange fire alarm light bracket, and its Manhattan yellow and black signs were replaced, first with green and white ones and then black and white Downtown Alliance street signs.

Even though this post, along with most other downtown lampposts of similar age, had been declared a landmark by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, in late 2009 the Department of Transportation installed a regulation octagonal-shafted aluminum post next to it, and you had the feeling the Crook’s days were numbered. They were — the DOT removed the Type 24M post in February 2010.

Page completed March 1, 2010





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2 Responses to LIGHTS OUT for a classic Crook

  1. somebody says:

    Is that a vintage DONT WALK sign in the background in the 1978 picture?

    • Steven G. says:

      Indeed.

      They were manufactured by Marbelite, and they are model LPS-20 pedestrian signals. They were common to see throughout the five boroughs from the mid 1960s until the early 1980s.

      I have one in my private collection that saw service in the city of New York. It was manufactured by Marbelite in 1975.

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