"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." Edgar Degas

Thursday, September 13, 2018

CitySketch: Lamppost







There are 1,600 lampposts scattered across Central Park’s 843 acres. They were designed in 1980 by architects Gerald Allen and Kent Bloomer, to replace the original electric lamps that were designed in 1910 by Henry Bacon, architect of the Lincoln Memorial.

The Landmarks Commission held hearings to decide if the lamps would be of modern design or if they should continue the tradition of the original lamps, attempting to blend into the landscape. Those who favored the natural design proved more persuasive.

''The whole idea of the natural landscape reproduced in the man-made elements of the park was in the spirit of those times and is traceable to the 19th-century theoretician John Ruskin. The Bacon lamppost itself depicts seeds, leaves, stems and a trunk. The lamppost was a metaphor for a plant.'' Kent Bloomer

Fun fact: at the base of each lamp are four numbers. The first two are the nearest cross-street north to south and the last two let you know if you’re on the east or west side of the park. Even numbers are east and odd are west.