by Kevin Walsh

The long-armed “Corvington” lamppost, originally dubbed the “boulevard post” first appeared around 1900, give or take a few years, and were manufactured to illuminate wider roads, such as Broadway north of Columbus Circle, that the narrow Bishop Crooks couldn’t handle. In the early days of the century, dozens of different lamppost designs appeared, but the bulk of them eventually shook down to the Corvingtons, Crooks, Type Fs for side streets, and Twinlamps for intersections and center medians (they also found work on 7th Avenue).

A simplified version of the original Corvington, the Type 24M, eventually was used on major avenues, but beginning in 1950, the octagonal-shafted aluminum post was introduced, and over the next 15 years, gradually rose to domination. Today, only Morris, Greenwich and Washington Streets near the Brooklyn-Battery Hugh Carey Tunnel in lower Manhattan have the only remaining Corvingtons from the mid-20th Century!

However, flocks of retro-Corvs have been installed over the last 30 years on major avenues all over town. Both they and their associates, the retro-Crooks, seem to have a design flaw: they slowly swivel on their bases in the wind. There’s this post shown here on Grand Avenue at 69th Lane in front of a CVS min Maspeth. It has swiveled almost 180 degrees!


This Google Street View from August 2013 finds the Corv early on in mid-swivel. The light is still over Grand Avenue. It took till February 2015 to achieve a 180-degree swivel, and you’d imagine it’ll be late 2016 or into 2017 before the wind blows it into the correct position again.

Notice that the Department of Transportation keeps the “School Crossing Ahead” sign in proper position. It’s easier to fix!



Matthew Cummings February 12, 2015 - 1:07 pm

Seems it wouldn’t be all that hard to make them stable and non-swivel-able! Couple screws in the right places anchoring the posts in one position shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish. Apparently DOT needs my assistance!

BobK February 13, 2015 - 10:04 am

Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh!

Bill Tweeddale February 20, 2015 - 10:58 am

Couldn’t help but notice the “For Rent” sign in the RadioShack across the street. Ah tempus fugit!


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