The loveliest lamppost in New York is in Harlem

New York has lots of landmarked buildings. But a landmarked lamppost?

About 100 posts have this designation. One beauty exists at a small triangular park at West 143rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue, and it continues to light the way in the Hamilton Heights section of the neighborhood, with its late 19th century feel.

Placed here in the early 20th century, it’s a rare twin-mast lamppost, made of cast iron and an example of a “flaming arc” lamp that was once more common Lower Fifth Avenue, according to a 1997 report by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

As enchanting as the twin design is, the post has another old-timey touch. Take a look at this insignia on the base of the post of a light bulb, or a “little globe of sunshine,” as one 1915 article about electric light dubbed it.

Thanks to David L. for pointing this out in a recent comment and inspiring me to see the lamppost for myself!

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10 Responses to “The loveliest lamppost in New York is in Harlem”

  1. Lady G. Says:

    Wow! That is gorgeous! Now you can ad Lamppost hunting on your jaunts around the city. 🙂

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Yes, apparently there are a few others I plan to scout out!

  3. VirginiaB Says:

    So glad at least some of these vignettes into old NY still exist–and that you are kind enough to share them with everyone.

  4. frank dicapua Says:

    Anne Achenbach ________________________________

  5. Tom B Says:

    Forgotten New York is big NYC lamppost authority.

  6. David H Lippman Says:

    Thank you for doing an entry on this lamppost. The only thing wrong with it are the modern luminaires, which are absolutely wrong for this (or any other) cast-iron lamppost.

    If memory serves, the light-bulb design on the base indicates that this is an Edison lamppost, but I’m not sure. It is New York’s best single lamppost.

  7. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I do love the one at the end of Patchin Place too

  8. Tom Williams Says:

    Nice photography.

  9. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thank you!

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