March 2019 marks Forgotten New York’s 20th anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, I’ve re-scanned about 150 key images from the early days of FNY from 35MM prints. In the early days, when people including me were accessing FNY with dial-up modems, I had to save photos really small — in some cases, just 4″ across. I couldn’t find all those early photos — I think I foolishly discarded some along the way — but all month, and into the spring, I’ll be picking out some and showing the newly scanned versions.
In 1999 I was stumbling around in lower Manhattan, in that little-defined area south of Independence Plaza and north of the northern edge of the World Trade Center plaza at Vesey Street, when I happened upon a parking lot facing Warren Street along with a dead-end stub of Washington Street complete with Belgian blocks, with the scene completed by the presence of a hybrid Bishop Crook lamppost combining a Type 24 BC mast and a Type 6 BC base, the type usually employed on narrower streets. This one even had an old-style fire alarm lamp sconce.
By the mid-2000s, this block was finally developed, with 100 Greenwich Street going up on the plot, erasing this small piece of Washington. However, the bishop crook was landmarked and could not be scrapped. What could the Department of Transportation do? They removed the post, gave it a paint job and in an unusual maneuver, placed a large white reflector globe in place of the small orange fire alarm indicator. The post was relocated to the north side of Warren Street, where it stands today.