TYPE F, Greenwich Village

by Kevin Walsh

On this 22nd anniversary of Forgotten New York, I’ll turn to one of the items that got me started on this thing a couple of decades ago, a remaining Type F castiron pole on West 13th between 6th and 7th Avenues in the Village. The oldest lampposts (or lamppost designs) in NYC are classified by letters A through G. These “reverse-scrolled” lights formerly lit Manhattan’s and Bronx’s side streets by the thousands; they were employed less in the other borughs (Brooklyn actually had its own early 20th Century design).

This one has been granted preserved status by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, and so cannot legally be removed. It’s lost a finial (the decorative element at the top of the shaft) and I don’t think its incandescent bulb has been replaced in years. Its Westinghouse AK-10 “cuplight” was likely installed from 1945-1955.

Type F, Pearl and Elm (Lafayette) Street, 1915

The Department of Transportation has recently returned to this design for new posts installed along 8th Street in the Village, Wyckoff Avenue on the Bushwick-Ridgewood border, and Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village, but even the new edition is used sparingly compared to the Corvington and Bishops Crook designs.

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

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Andy March 26, 2021 - 9:57 am

About two weeks ago I was in Manhattan, looking at the block on West 104th Street where I lived as a toddler. There was Retro Type F there. I took a photo. Tried to post it in this message but could not. How can i share it with you and the FNY audience?

Alan March 26, 2021 - 10:05 am

Happy anniversary. As a former Brooklynite and avid streetlight style and traffic light style fan (let’s just say “infrastructure fan”) where I came up with my own names for the styles, this website has given me countless hours of enjoyment. In the 1930s when Linden Blvd in Brooklyn was extended eastward from Remsen Av./Kings Hy., to the Queens line, it was lined with “double hung” F types (80 per mile!). They were removed in 1958 and replaced by modern double masted aluminum poles (with mercury lights, probably the first in Brooklyn).

John March 26, 2021 - 11:57 am

Staten Island does not have underground power lines. The only exception is the Borough Hall area.

Andy March 28, 2021 - 10:08 am

I also remember those double hung Fs along Linden Blvd. in Brooklyn. As i recall those lamps were a dwarf style. Similar lamps were on Rockaway Blvd. in Queens along the north boundary of JFK (then Idlewild) Airport, also in the 1950s.

William Mangahas March 27, 2021 - 7:22 am

I don’t see a photocell on it to turn the light on and off. I wonder if the wiring in the base is still live. If so a photocell can be installed to turn it on and off. They make clear LED bulbs that have the same color temperature as an incandescent bulb. I know of a 100 watt led bulb but they may make higher wattage bulb, Then a coat of brown oil base would make it authentic. I hope someone in the DOT is reading this.


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