The scene here is looking east on Myrtle Avenue at Prince Street in late 1970. As documented by Bill Mangahas of Newkirk Images, the Myrtle Avenue El has just been demolished, and we are left with Myrtle Avenue still illuminated in this stretch by a series of Dwarf Donald Deskey lamps. Some of the pavement has worn down, revealing Belgian block pavement and some long-disused trolley tracks; Myrtle Avenue, besides the el, had three trolley routes, the 15, 17 and 54 running along it; all had been retired by 1951. What make is that beauty crossing Myrtle?
While the right side of this scene is now dominated by anonymous, if pricey, high rise apartment condominiums, the left side has been relatively consistent. The Ingersoll Community Center is still there, with a larger building, and the Raymond Ingersoll Houses, constructed in 1944 and named for a Brooklyn borough president (1934-40) and earlier parks commissioner (1914-17) are constant as the rain.
I’m a bit puzzled about this stretch of Deskeys. Why not just keep the earlier curved -mast Dwarves and install new lamps? In the background, one such curved-mast post can be seen. My guess is that here, with the el positioned relatively low to the ground, Myrtle Avenue was illuminated with pendant lamps suspended from the el structure, which the city did on some els. Before the el was demolished, the Deskeys were installed.
I seem to recall that the city was slow to replace these Dwarf posts and they persisted for a few years, perhaps even after I began attending college in the area in 1975. I’d like to get into an HG Wells time machine and find out. However, that stretch of Brooklyn was not nearly as tranquil in 1975 as it is now; I can recall visiting Myrtle Avenue just once, in 1965, with my mother. I didn’t really see much more of Myrtle until I walked its entire length in 2010!