by Kevin Walsh

THERE’S good news and bad regarding the weird, 1940-era lampposts found on the north-south entrance and exit roads servicing the Queens-Midtown Tunnel on either side of 2nd Avenue between East 34th and 41st Streets. The good news is that they are still there after 80+ years, and that the Department of Transportation is still servicing them. Indeed, after several years when they were painted green, they all have new black paint jobs.

photos: Bob Mulero

The bad news is that the vintage 1950-era Westinghouse AK-10 “cuplights” have all been replaced by modern LED Bell fixtures. The strange thing about it is that when I went past here in the early spring of 2022, I noticed that one of the “cups” had an LED fixture installed, so the “cups” can accept them. Over the past couple of years, the DOT has been erasing the last of the Westys; a batch under the High Line at 10th Avenue and West 30th, which still boasted incandescent bulbs, were removed in favor of LEDs. Hey, they were getting the job done. about a dozen years ago, the Westinghouses lighting the second deck of the Verrazzano Bridge, which burned mercury greenish-white, were taken out. I’d say one of the few remaining AK-10s can now be found on the refurbished Wall Crook on Nassau street off Spruce.

The Tunnel Exit and Entrance lampposts were first installed when the tunnel opened in 1940.

Oh well. Sick transit, Gloria!

As always, “comment…as you see fit.” I earn a small payment when you click on any ad on the site.



Steve July 15, 2022 - 7:37 am

A few of your articles are closed with the phrase “Sick transit, Gloria!”
Is this a play on the Latin phrase Sic transit gloria mundi
Can you explain

Kevin Walsh July 15, 2022 - 3:58 pm


Jeremy Woodoff July 16, 2022 - 10:07 am

DOT has recently been replacing the light sources in the Riverside luminaires on park B-poles with warm white LEDs that are surprisingly incandescent in quality. They make an enormous difference in the character of nighttime park landscapes and perimeter walks. They’re better than the standard street light LEDs. They remind me of when New York was an incandescent city.

philipe July 17, 2022 - 8:14 am

Int he mid to late 1930’s my father worked for the Gleason-Tiebout glass company in Brooklyn. He ground the glass globes that covered the ceiling lights inside the QMT. Whenever we drove through the tunnel, he would point out the globes which he ground and polished.
They were replaced when the QMT was refurbished.

S.+Saltzman July 27, 2022 - 7:37 pm

If you type in “Gleason Tiebout “ into eBay, a number of interesting magazine advertisements for the company are for sale.

Kenneth Buettner July 29, 2022 - 11:15 am

The Commissioners Plan had the north/south throughfares become “Avenues” and the east/west throughfares become “Streets”. So why did the designers of the Queens-Midtown Tunnel go exactly opposite? They named “Tunnel Entrance Street” and “Tunnel Exit Street”, both of which run north/south.


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