by Kevin Walsh

Two prototypes of the slotted Donald Deskey lamppost were installed at Broadway and Murray Street on opposite corners near City Hall in 1958.

Besides being the first appearance of this now-iconic NYC lamppost, this also marked the first appearance of the GE M400 luminaire, which burned greenish-white — a contrast to the warm yellow incandescents which preceded them.

These were just prototypes, and when Deskeys finally got installed on a widespread basis in 1964, the curve on the mast was a bit gentler and there was less of an L-shape, though this post actually survived till after 2000. It was finally replaced by a stylized retro Twinlamp specially made for Broadway outside City Hall Park.


fdr May 7, 2013 - 10:53 am

Note that the bus is going uptown. Broadway is now one way downtown.

tonymanzo May 9, 2013 - 4:26 pm

couldn’t these 60’s poles become retros just as ” olde new york ” streetlamps have re-appeared today?

Alan May 10, 2013 - 7:31 pm

Did not realize the GE M400 luminaire was around as early as 1958!

Kiwiwriter August 19, 2013 - 1:43 pm

I remember seeing this lamppost when I was growing up. Even at age 5 or 6, I noticed that it was different from all of its brothers and sisters, which puzzled the hell out of me.

Of course, nobody could explain it…it only took 45 years…


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