HAMILTON BEAUTY, Hamilton Heights

by Kevin Walsh

It’s something of a miracle that a truck hasn’t run it over, but this one-of-a-kind Twin still stands at Amsterdam Avenue, Hamilton Place and West 144th in upper Manhattan.

The base is more ornamental and heavier than any other remaining Twin. At busy or important intersections, lamps with “busier” bases were installed in the golden age of lampposts (1900-1930). The only blemish is the two 1980s-era bucket lamps that replaced these Cups. Come on, Department of Transportation, install some contemporary retros here.



George Cassidy June 30, 2013 - 11:55 am

I remember these marching up the middle of Union Turnpike, Queens Village/Bayside, in the 1940s.

Old Skool June 30, 2013 - 6:41 pm

Kevin, do you have a date for this chrome? Those look like fishbowl busses and of course the street signs are prior to the greenification of street signage.

andy June 30, 2013 - 7:05 pm

Besides Union Turnpike, similar Twinlamps, usually with the cuplamp fixtures, could be found on many major divided boulevards in NYC. Examples – Grand Concourse, Queens Boulevard, Broadway (59th-168th Streets), Francis Lewis Blvd., 164th Street (Queens).

The photo is from the 1970s, when the black lettering on yellow background street signs were used in Manhattan and Staten Island. In my opinion these signs were a far superior color scheme to the generic white on green mandated everywhere today.

Jeff B. July 1, 2013 - 12:00 am

My guess for when the photo was taken is 1973. Cars I recognize: 1970 Opel Kadett (side view), 1973 Ford LTD (front view) at curb, across the street I see a 1973 Eldorado and behind that a 1970-73 Caddy DeVille. Two “New Look” bumpers are also visible – the one in the distance looks like it still has its pre-MTA green paint. The other cars are too far away for me to make a guess about.

Robert Mulero July 11, 2013 - 5:23 am

Photo taken in 1978.

Pat July 1, 2013 - 3:29 pm

I was a little confused at seeing an old picture in an article describing how the pole still exists. Perhaps a side by side showing the 70’s pic and a current pic would be of interest?

Kevin Walsh July 1, 2013 - 6:57 pm

It looks about the same.

Tal Barzilai July 3, 2013 - 4:34 pm

Does this lamp still exist today or was it taken down a while ago?

Kevin Walsh July 3, 2013 - 5:24 pm

still there as far as I know. I think it’s landmarked


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