There’s a couple of ‘mystery poles’ in Manhattan, whose former use is hidden in the vicissitudes of time. Like this one on Broadway and West 142nd. It’s too far away from the corner to have been a stoplight, and there’s no bank behind it — sometimes banks will install their own string of lampposts on the sidewalk. It doesn’t correspond to the designs of any gaslight posts I’ve seen.
I’d ask, but it isn’t talking.