These handsome lamps were standard issue in the 1950s for very specific purposes: they lit pedestrian walkways on expressways built during that decade. Poles very much like it can be found on walkways over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the Clearview Expressway and the Long Island (Horace Harding) and may appear on other expressways. They were never used anywhere else.
In the 1980s, the Westinghouse incandescents, one of which is pictured here, were replaced with higher-intensity sodium Holophane “buckets” and that’s how all of the working ones today are outfitted. Until 2018 or so, a group of Westies survived on this usual pedestrian ramp that actually went beneath the Long Island Rail Road as it crossed the Clearview Expressway. I imagine the Department of Transportation got tired of maintaining it, as it was little-used. I disagreed with the decision, as it now forces walkers and bicyclists to cross the LIRR on Corporal Kennedy Street or Bell Boulevard.
While this pole is gone, others like it are still around, so I’m happy about that.