Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lost Then Found 1909 Queensboro Bridge Lamppost Base Finds New Permanent Home At The Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitors Kiosk

From the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS):

A permanent home for a 1909 lamppost base from the Queensboro Bridge.

After a two-and-a-half-year campaign to move a 6,000 pound lamppost base to Roosevelt Island,

Image From Francine Lange

the bronze piece of history finally found a resting spot next to the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) Kiosk. A reunion of sorts, the lamp base at one time stood behind the kiosk when it too was stationed at the Manhattan side of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. (The kiosk served as one of five trolley stations commuters entered to board trolleys traveling over the bridge.)

The entire lamp went missing in the 1970s and RIHS President Judith Berdy (pictured in front of the base)

Image From Francine Lange

said it may have been moved when the Roosevelt Island Tramway was built.

Several years ago, after a passerby spotted the base in a Department of Transportation signal yard in Queens, Ms. Berdy raised the funds to have it moved to Roosevelt Island. You may now view the ornate base in its new home.
RIHS President Judy Berdy adds;
On October 14th the finishing touches were placed on the lamp base. The decorative ornamentations have been replaced the the base. The foundation received a coating of stucco. The missing borough plaques will soon be replaced on the four sides (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens). There will be a formal ceremony celebrating the placement in November. Arnold Apria of Cornerstone Conservation and his crew are very talented and their work is very impressive.

 Image of Ms Berdy With Bill Laderer of Long Island Landscape In Front of Lamppost

Thanks to all our friends and supporters who helped with the project, especially Janet Falk who was instrumental in our fund raising and communications efforts.

Mitch Waxman (The Newton Pentacle Blog) describes in Queens Brownstoner how he found the lamppost base lying around at the NYC S.E.M./Signals Street Light Yard:
... Back in 2011, I was trudging home in a deep snow when something caught my eye.

Something about this object was familiar to me, but its identity eluded. My thoughts keep drifting toward mental catalogs of midtown Manhattan transportation centers for some reason. Grand Central perhaps? Simple observations of the object revealed it to be metallic, and designed to exhibit a cuprous patina. Were it composed of copper or white bronze, as it is designed to appear, this would be a small fortune sitting out in the snow (from a scrap metal point of view)...
Click here for the full story by Mr.Waxman in the Queens Brownstoner.