Bishops Crook Lamppost



Just south of the Williamsburg Bridge, between Kazan and Lewis, is a small service alley.  It is not the prettiest place in the world by any means.  Surrounded by unappealing housing projects and chain link fences, with bottles strewn across the ground and the cold east river winds whipping through the streets, this is the last place you would expect to see any trace of New York's past.

And at first you don't. 

Until you look closely, rising over a sea of chain link fences, is the old remnants of a crooked cast-iron lamppost.  It is a rare Bishops Crook lamppost, named for the staff carried by high-ranking clerics, and which first appeared in New York around 1892. 

This particular lamppost holds a lot of history, particularly because it gives us a link to the area's tenement past.  Once littered with rows and rows of tenement buildings on tiny streets, the area was razed in the 1940s and 50s, the streets were paved over, and housing projects were put in its place. 

Lewis Street is one of the few of these original streets to survive, along with this lamppost.





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