VINTAGE FHP, Borough Park

There really is something for everyone in this circa 1960 view (courtesy Brooklyn Historical Society) of Fort Hamilton Parkway looking east at 60th Street. For the vintage car nut, there’s quite  a collection for you (name ’em). Old sign people will like the old-school soda fountain and restaurant signs on opposite corners. Architecture fans will admire the gracefully curved roofline of the apartment building and the arched windows; this, and every other building in the photo, is still there.

For me, though, this was and is along the route of the B16 bus, which my parents and I used most of all, and to my ever-widening eyes staring out the window, the chief attraction was the hodgepodge of freestanding and telephone pole-mounted lamps in this transitional era. You can’t see it too well but on the northeast corner was a scrolled mast lamp with the added attraction of a globe-shaped fire alarm indicator. On the right, there’s a guy-wired mast supporting a “smiling” Bell fixture. Years later I found these masts went all the way back to the 1910s and held a variety of lights, including radial wave incandescents.

In a year or so, these lamps would be retired by standard NYC finned telephone pole masts, supporting green-white mercury lamps, which first appeared in the 1950s and still dominate by the thousands today.

“Olive” stoplights with two-bulb Ruleta lights control the traffic, while humpback street signs identify the corner.


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13 Responses to VINTAGE FHP, Borough Park

  1. Jeff B. says:

    My guess is the photo was taken in at least 1962. Cars appear to be from Left: 62 Pontiac Tempest, 59 Pontiac and 57 Buick.

    • NY2AZ says:

      Wrong! Back to front they are: Pontiac Tempest, 1961 or 1962 (show me a front view & I’ll tell you the definite vintage), 1960 Pontiac Catalina (could also be a Ventura; fender script not clear enough in photo), & 1955 Buick Special (could be a Century but I can’t see how many “ventiports” there are in the front fender. It’s 3 for a Special & 4 for a Century). Meanwhile, across the intersection near the corner restaurant is a 1958 Cadillac Series 62. This is a great photo for all midcentury aficionados.

    • Ron says:

      The maroon car is a 1960 Pontiac, not a 1959.

  2. Larry says:

    I agree with you about the Ft Hamilton Parkway was a great meandering route from one part of Brooklyn to another

  3. gbear says:

    I used to catch the bus there to go to Fort Hamilton HS in 66 & 67. Last apartment I lived in was on FHP & 86 st. Moved upstate to get a parking spot. 😉

  4. Sandy Saltzman says:

    Is that a small mailbox mounted on a concrete pole next to the fire hydrant?

  5. Mike in fla via Bklyn says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…those “Olive” stop lights are the cat’s meow. They were built like tanks, just like the cars. Thanks for sharing Kevin!

  6. georgedunne says:

    Out of view, is Rogers’ Pontiac, Lind Oldsmobile, PS 105, Liquor Store, Butcher Shop, Bocchino-Dente Square (formerly a triangle where 10th Avenue intersects Ft. Ham Pkwy), and B9 Bus Stops.

  7. brubenstein says:

    That’s one of thousands of John Morrell pictures

    There are many taken where in Flatbush during the years I was a kid.

  8. William Mangahas says:

    Love that streetlight and “olive” traffic signal.

    William Mangahas

  9. Kiwiwriter says:

    I think the telephone pole on the far corner has the newer post-humpback street signs.

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