PARK AVENUE LAMPS

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In the mid-20th Century, just when NYC was replacing its ornate cast iron and wrought iron posts with more sedate aluminum octagonal-shaped lampposts, Park Avenue got a set of posts all its own with a unique streamlined design featuring then-new greenish-white mercury lamps. They didn’t last too long, however, and by the mid-1960s they had all been supplanted by slot-shafted, curved-neck Donald Deskey posts. Similar lamps, though, can be found at either end of the Brooklyn-Battery (Hugh Carey) Tunnel.

The prominent building on the opposite side of Park Avenue is the 1918 Tennis and Racquet Club, desuigned by William Richardson.

It snowed frequently in the winter in NYC as recently as 2010-2011.

Photo courtesy Larry Rogak.

12/18/12





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3 Responses to PARK AVENUE LAMPS

  1. Glen Norman says:

    Nice shot–I mentioned in another topic that one of these lights can be seen in the Season One opening credits of “That Girl”. The camera angle is so steep, however, that it’s hard to determine the luminaire. This clarifies that mystery.

    BTW: I guess another bit of recent NYC streetlight history is gone. The pair of the very first retro-crooks introduced in the late 20th century is gone. They resided in front of the Waldorf=Astoria and now appear to have been supplanted by the “Times Square/Herald Square” twin design.

  2. andy says:

    Remember these streetlamps very well. They were unique to Park Avenue, as I don’t remember seeing them anywhere else. Also these were unique because the sidewalk lamps were double-armed and the lamps in the median were single-armed, the reverse of normal NYC practice on divided roadways (such as Broadway above 59th Street, which had both long-armed and two-masted Covingtons).

  3. Stuart Soloway says:

    These were installed I believe in 1948 and removed in 1966 and replaced the original two Bishop’s Crooks per corner with no mid-block lighting, so the twins on the corner and two single mall lamps substantially increased the lighting factor. Also, the light source was definitely high-wattage incandescent, not mercury, as I can recall the quality of the light output and wondered the need to replace them with the Desky’s even at the age of ten. The new Triboro replicas would be a good replacement today.

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