by Kevin Walsh

An unusual situation exists on a couple of street corners in Chelsea, where the Department of Transportation has allowed a pair of lampposts to illuminate 9th Avenue where one post will do. Here at West 18th Street, the post on the left, installed in the 1960s, is the original. It was later joined by a bulky, guy-wired stoplight stanchion, the usual type that has been used in NYC since the mid-1950s. It has had a cobra neck lighting fixture attached to the apex.

When these stoplights are installed the usual DOT practice is usually to install a cobra neck streetlamp on the stoplight and then remove the older lamppost it’s replacing. But here, the DOT just let the older post remain in place, likely by oversight, and it just remained in place for decades including its old General Electric M400 fixture. However, Manhattan has just gotten a new set of bright white LED lamps, and the DOT installed an LED light on both poles! Note that the older pole still carries a fire alarm.

A few blocks south at West 15th and 9th in front of Google World Headquarters, a different situation exists: the road is being narrowed in spots and new sidewalks are being installed. Stoplights and lampposts, in some cases, have to be moved forward or back a few feet. In this case, the corner is getting a brand new stoplight/lamp combo, but part of the older stoplight, still holding street and one-way signs, is still standing. Presumably, the signs will be moved over to the new post and the older one will be removed entirely.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”


1 comment

Dennis Bianco August 12, 2019 - 5:33 pm

This was a common occurance in the early 1970’s. Usually the stand alone post would be dark while the combo lamppost would light. Sometimes the opposite was true.


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