A quartet of some of NYC’s oldest lampposts of modern design can be found on The 65th Street Transverse Road, at the east and westbound separated lanes, facing 5th Avenue at East 65th and 66th Streets. “Octagonal-shaft” posts, officially Type 8 posts, were first installed in 1950 and gradually took over NYC streets until 1960 or so, when they had to weather competition from slotted Donald Deskey posts.
In the beginning, all Type 8s posts had curved masts supported by a single thin bracket (wider roads employed the Type 12, which feature a pair of lengthy masts supported by a crossbar). Gradually, the curved masts lost ground to straight masts and the curved “cobra necks.”
For reasons known only to the Department of Transportation 4 surviving curved-masts can be found at 5th Avenue and East 65th and 66th. I’d say about two dozen of these total can be found in the five boroughs; many still illuminate the streets under elevated trains. Until the early 2010s, they all carried incandescent Westinghouse AK-10 “cuplights.”
The four Central Park Transverse Roads have always been part of the Calvert & Vaux Central Park design. They originally transported horses, wagons and carriages between the East and West Sides, but now they serve pedal to the metal traffic. In fact, cars have now been banned on the East and West Drive so only the Transverse Roads now carry motorized traffic.
Though these poles held off from having LED lights installed Central Park’s roads were actually the first in the city (2011) to receive LED lighting, in this case, the Cree Lighting BXSP1. I think they’re found on expressways, parkways and Central Park, but after their installation the Department of Transportation moved on to other makes.
These posts have also escaped getting coated in forest green paint, which is boasted by just about every other Central Park lamppost that lights a roadway.
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