I regret to mention that one of 5th Avenue‘s last original Twin lampposts, on the SW corner of 5th and West 32nd Street, has been removed and replaced with a temporary stoplight.
Between 1892 and 1965, 5th Avenue was lit by dozens of Twinlamps of two separate species, one designed in the 1890s and another designed in the 1910s; most of the Twins were replaced by a special Twin version of the Donald Deskey design, but by 2013 many of the Deskeys had worn out and are not being replaced. Traditional octagonal poles and cobra necks have taken their place, and 1990s 34th Street Partnership posts now occupy a large swath of the Queen of Avenues.
The post had not had a lot of love; the NYC Department of Transportation tends to care more for retro versions of old lamps, instead of the original posts themselves. It was battered and listing the last time I was by there a few years ago.
Here’s the post when it was in better shape in the 1980s. For many years it carried both a Westinghouse ‘cuplight’ and a 1940s Bell luminaire. Note the Public Shelter sign with the arrow — it told you where to go if the Communists attacked. Photo: Bob Mulero
The orange fire alarm lamp had been knocked off years ago, but its bracket was still in place.
The pole also had brackets that held flags or banners during parades.
Hopefully, the DOT will replace the lamp with a new Twinlamp version — they are produced, and ring Bryant Park on 40th, 42nd Street and 6th Avenue. Somehow, I think the DOT will replace it with whatever they have lying around.
Twin classics can still be found at 19th Street, 23rd Street (2 versions) and 28th Street.