Old Castiron Twinlamp on Hillside Avenue By 169th Street
Cast Iron Streetlight Archives

closeupThis one belongs in the "Found Right Under My Nose" club. This classic antiquity is stationed in front of an Emigrant Savings Bank branch on Hillside Avenue in Jamaica Queens, between 168th and 169th Streets. My suspicions are that it is a relative of a group of similar poles that used to surround the old Ridgewood Savings Bank Building located at the corner of Queens Boulevard and 108th Street in Forest Hills. My further suspicions, based on the first, are that the Emigrant branch here used to be a Ridgewood.
Obviously, it is not in the greatest of health. It doesn't look to be in much of a good mood, and given that, its sign would seem to match its temperment. A No Parking sign can certainly get its message across with less abrasive methods.
How many more of these might be left in New York City, I wouldn't know. very likely, this one's the last. Not visible in these views, its base plate is missing and the lower part of the main stem is held together with some jerry rigged screws. It's amazing that this specimen managed to see the age of ATM machines, let alone a new millenium.

southMany older buildings of communal importance tended to have clocks. The front facing clock above the Emigrant Bank was pretty close to being on time; it was circa 5:30PM when I shot these. The east facing clock, however, is lagging behind somewhere in the Pacific Time Zone. Such colonial style bank buildings probably hail from the late 1930's or 1940's. It was probably in keeping with the Dutch colonial houses that permeated the Jamaica Estates area. Such colonial style buildings often sport cupola towers, although cheaper constructions, like gas stations, usually house a green lamphouse rather than clocks. The cupolas in colonial style schools, like nearby Jamaica High, tend to serve as bell towers. A common feature of all is usually a weathervane.

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