by Kevin Walsh

The Owls Head Sewage Treatment Plant, on the outskirts of beautiful Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, is accessible by roads from Bay Ridge Avenue (69th Street) and from the Belt Parkway. The plant had always had species of oddball lampposts on its roads — this photo is from the 1940s, and these posts, which resemble the ones on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, were in turn replaced by another set of lamps utterly unlike the regular-issue octagonal shafted poles in NYC streets. Those, too, disappeared in the late 1970s or early 1980s. The plant continues to stink up the area when the wind is right.

Photo from NYC Municipal Archives, which has gotten wise to the antics of folks like your webmaster, who can manipulate the html to produce high quality pictures, and added watermarks.



Gary Farkash February 9, 2013 - 2:46 pm

If you look inthe background you can clearly see the old belt parkway woodies. The last one in Brooklyn was a double arm unit that …. wait for it… is right in this picture!
It lasted until a car accident in 2006. Strangely enough, when I happened to go back in 2010, the broken unit was still laying in the grass up against the fence.
There is only one woodie left on the Belt system in Rosedale Queens.

Someone February 10, 2013 - 10:34 am

I think the Woody in Queens is the last Woody in existence. It was still there as of 2012.

Kevin Walsh February 10, 2013 - 12:07 pm

There are still woodies on the island

Gary Farkash February 12, 2013 - 10:28 am

Kevin, where on the “Island” are these woodies located?
The only ones I have seen are the re-creations on the loop Parkway heading to Jones Beach.

Kevin Walsh February 12, 2013 - 12:18 pm

I’ve seen some in the Planting Fields Arboretum, for one.

John February 10, 2013 - 9:36 pm

I recall the wooden lampposts as a child and the stench from the sewage treatment plant every now and then.

Kevin Walsh February 11, 2013 - 10:05 am

The Woodies were on the Belt Parkway but the sewage plant always had its own unique poles.

Brian Sturm February 12, 2013 - 12:47 pm

I worked in Coney Island from 98 to 2009. The last remaining woody was by one of the ramps to Flatbush Avenue on the West bound side of the Belt Parkway. I think it disappeared a few years ago.

The Northern State had woodies on it from the NYC line until the mid 80s I believe. I remember them when I was young.

Kevin Walsh February 12, 2013 - 1:25 pm

I remember that pole, but now the last woody in NYC is in Rosedale on one of the westbound approaches. If it’s indeed still there — I haven’t checked lately.

Frank February 12, 2013 - 1:44 pm

There are no more woodies at Planting Fields, I would know because I work there.

There are still some original woodies on the Ocean Parkway on Long Island. Unfortunately there was some losses due to Hurricane Sandy. But, a few nice double woodies remain complete with their incandescent lighting. I would say there is about 15-20 woodies left on the Ocean Parkway.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.