Picture Postcard Thursday

10 Mar

March 10, 2011

Our last picture this week (unless I find a good picture) is once again from Forgotten NY. It isn’t a masterpiece of the photographic art by any stretch but it is interesting to me as I have driven right past it hundreds of times and wondered it if was the last of its kind. Turns out it is. Forgotten NY is a great site to poke around in if you like all things old and historically interesting with a New York Focus.

The Forgotten NY page about this lamp can be found here.


From the site:

I have just one photo today. It’s the last dodo, passenger pigeon, aepyornis, mammoth, tyrannosaur, brachiothere, trilobite, and someday, the last human. It’s the last of its type. Once, thousands of these wooden posts lined the parkways of New York and Long Island, built when they were literally parkways, running through wooded enclaves with tiny houses and green lawns. I call them the Woodies. They lit the great parkways constructed by Robert Moses beginning in the 1930s: the Belt (or Shore) Parkway; the Cross Island; the Laurelton; the Bronx River; and many others. Occasionally they found their way to regular city streets (I have seen pictures of them on 37th Street along GreenWood Cemetery and on Euclid Avenue in East New York) but mainly they were there to impart a rustic look.

Bucolicism left NYC in the 1950s and urbanism accelerated, and gradually, the Woodies disappeared. Their last bastion was the Belt and Shore Parkways in Brooklyn and Queens, where they hung on into the 1980s, though they were gradually supplanted by Deskeys. Finally the mixed bag of Woodies and Deskeys were sent packing and the Belt was lined with shiny, cylindrical poles (which you see in the background here).

The last Woody can be found on a service road connecting the Laurelton Parkway with the westbound Belt. Catch it while you can. While the odd decommissioned Woody can still be seen in the odd parking lot or pedestrian bridge, this is the last working example, and when it goes…they’re all gone.

Next week Picture Postcard will feature pictures taken by me, your obedient servant, primarily during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s when I was but a mere slip of a lad.

2 Responses to “Picture Postcard Thursday”

  1. JRD Skinner March 10, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    Another great selection.

    It seems like there are a lot of “last of their kind”s lately – I have to say, the wood sells me, I can’t see anyone lamenting the last of the “cylindrical poles”.


    • bmj2k March 10, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      It’s 2012. The last of everything is upon us!


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