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Archive through January 24, 2009Burnsie30 01-24-09  10:26 am
Archive through February 03, 2009Beech_cricker30 02-03-09  4:50 pm
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Rsmack
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Post Number: 3
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2009 - 7:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Beech_cricker If you want to photograph the lights and poles close up I have two restored ones at Ye Olde Tap Room. Out front we put in old Detroit street pavers, trees and soon two Bishop lights. We are having problems with the wood pole replacement but they should be up soon.

These poles originally held carbon arc lamps and date from 1893 when the city took over lighting its streets. Most held the Brush Double Carbon Arc a few were Adams-Bengnall as shown it the DPL 2nd Annual Report
Department of Public Lighting 1897

Brush Carbon Arc
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Mikeg
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Posted on Monday, February 16, 2009 - 7:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's an undated photo (circa 1930s?) showing the old streetlights along Fort St. at 1st St. [source]

Fort St.


(Message edited by Mikeg on February 17, 2009)
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Beech_cricker
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Posted on Monday, February 16, 2009 - 9:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rsmack, so when can I visit?

If it would work for you I'd like to photograph your Bishops before you put them up on the poles (it'd be really cool to see them REALLY up close)...and then come back later to record the finished product.

That is one nifty annual report cover you posted!--Jeff
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Rsmack
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Posted on Monday, February 16, 2009 - 11:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Beech_cricker wish there was a way to email posters. Call the tap room and leave a number I'll call you back 313-824-1030 and set something up.
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Gralr
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Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 12:33 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit was spectacular and certainly has some bright spots.
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Busterwmu
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Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 1:13 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Beech and others:

In an earlier post, I had indicated a photo of a stand of classic 1916 Pineapple style streetlights to be along Linwood Street. Turns out, after consulting with the photographer of that image and reviewing some aerial images on Google Maps, I have pinpointed the exact location and now apologize for leading you astray. My guest wasn't too far off, but was far enough away that it was unlikely you'd find them. Here is the photo I was referring to:


Davison & Petoskey


closeup


Turns out this location is on Davison Avenue just east from Livernois, looking east. The first (older) set of traffic lights (now replaced since this March 2005 photo) is Petoskey Street. I looked on the Google Street View. Although the old traffic signals are gone, the old Pineapples remain in force! Go check them out!

The photographer of that image also provided me with another one which he recently located, this time a nice stand of Pineapples on the east side:


Warren near St. Jean


This stretch is on Warren not too far from St. Jean. Not too many interloping new cobraheads mixed in, so that's another location to consider!

Rsmack, very cool images from the old lighting reports! What a cool drawing! Hopefully I'll be able to visit the Tap Room sometime to take a look at the integrated parts of old Detroit there! Mikeg, what's the source on that Fort Street photo? Is there a larger version floating around out there somewhere?
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Mikeg
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Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 1:25 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Mikeg, what's the source on that Fort Street photo? Is there a larger version floating around out there somewhere?


I found it here, where it had been uploaded as "unknown city" and where I provided the identification. That appears to be the only resolution available.
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Beech_cricker
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Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 7:33 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rsmack, better yet, here is my e-mail:
BeechCrRR@aol.com
--Jeff
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Beech_cricker
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Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 7:35 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mikeg, nice shot along Fort Street!

Buster, thanks for the info on Davison and Warren--will check it out.--Jeff
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Rsmack
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Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 8:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Another note on the Bishop light poles,
I saw a post on craigslist selling a double Bishop light with original gaslight fixtures. The poster went on to claim that he had the poles appraised by DuMouchelles Art Gallery, the Detroit Historical Museum, and a historian in Washington. They all said the same thing that the poles were originally gas lights converted to electricity.

I think all the "experts" are wrong. Detroit went to all electric lighting in 1884. This is before the poles were even made. If you look at the pole close up there is no way to put a gasline from the pole to the light, only two wires from under the Bishop's "hat". All gaslight I have ever seen pointed up at the top of the pole not down. The light on this pole is 17 feet off of the ground. To high for the dim glow of gas. Gas lights were put 10 foot of the ground. He even sent me a picture of the original light claiming it to be gas but I believe it housed a carbon arc. Can anyone shed some light (pun intended) on this?
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Rsmack
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Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 8:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is a picture of what the "experts" called a gaslight. I don't buy it. It's just to big to be a gaslight.




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Detroitgalaxian
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Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 9:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Busterwmu -
The Davidson Avenue light poles depicted in your photos above are no more... sort of. The decorative arms and heads have been removed and replaced with modern "cobra head" arms. The original poles are still being used - but you barely notice them in their new form.
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Retroit
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 11:11 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's a streetlight from Livernois near Grand River from 1962. These have been reproduced recently for Telegraph Road from I-94 southward.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/r etroit/3289981977/
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Economy_printing
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 1:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I must say that I have been impressed with the large amount of historic streetlights that have remained in Detroit. In my hometown of Baltimore all our older style streetlights were gone by the end of 1972. The few reproductions that have gone up have in no way resemble what we had originally. Not so for Detroit. What a beautiful job in retaining the original style in the newer lights that I have seen. When I see repros now in various other cities I often notice what I call Detroit style lights. Even In Baltimore we have some Detroits now.
When I see old photos of the 67 riots with old lights on 12th I can always tell that the picture has been miscaptioned since 12th St. had been modernized with cobra head lights in the heavily affected area.
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Busterwmu
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 3:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A friend and I took a whirl around the D yesterday taking lots of photos, of course we had to get a few streetlight shots when the light was good:







Grand River holds a variety of different streetlight styles, including several stands of Bishops and 1916 Pineapple types. Here, a good looking stretch of battleshi-gray Pineapples line old US-16 west of Warren. The insulator brackets held the support wires for the Peter Witt Streetcars into the 1940s and the trackless electric "trolley-buses" into 1962.

Interestingly, the intersection of Warren and Grand River was the only place where two "trolley-bus" routes crossed, and they were non-transferable. Buses running on Grand River could only stay on that street, and Warren buses only on Warren. At the intersection, though, a smattering of wires must have once crossed where the two lines passed through eachother. Even today, many of the streetlights in that area have the insulator brackets from the old wires. You can learn more about the trolley buses and Detroit streetcars at www.detroittransithistory.info.




A stand of gray Bishops look toward the downtown skyline on Grand River not too far from Trumbull.




Here's an old black Bishop at the corner of Willis & Rosa Parks, at Grand River. I forget the story on the building to the right here, but it sure has some cool architecture!

We took other building photos from this day around town, too. Our report and photos are here:
http://atdetroit.net/forum/messages/5/177281.html?1234978010
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Eastsidedame
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 5:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Busterwmu:You really took some awesome shots!
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Beech_cricker
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 6:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Eastsidedame, I agree!--Jeff
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Busterwmu
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 8:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Heh, can't claim credit for those exact photos as my friend Michael took those specific ones (I was in the driver's seat), but I took several similar ones of the same places! Thanks for the compliments!

If you're looking for older lights in decent shape, I'd recommend Grand River over Fort. Many of the Fort lights have seen their share of rough years... the Grand River lights seem to be in better shape.
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Rsmack
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 10:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is a picture of a Bishop Crook on a Detroit street from a old photo I stole from ebay. Looks to be from the late 30's? Anyone remember Neisner Bros? Or dime stores? It's called a Bishop Crook because of the staff Bishops carried. Someone told me that they saw one still up I'll track it down.
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Rsmack
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 10:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Picture didn't show. another try

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Beech_cricker
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Posted on Sunday, February 22, 2009 - 6:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anyone happen to know if the Detroit Historical Society has vintage Detroit streetlights, or parts thereof, in their collection? I'm hoping they might have an arc light.--Jeff
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Beech_cricker
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Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009 - 7:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I had a class in Troy today. On my way home I was pleasantly surprised to find a Bishop, in black, in front of the Hooter's at Big Beaver Road and Rochester Road. From what I could see at a distance it looks like this one could use some TLC. Also, I think I saw a few Bishop poles, sans globes and painted green, in front of the Ram's Horn next to the Hooter's. This is sure a strange area to find Bishops.
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Aluminum
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Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 11:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, I have seen the bishops there too. Since the suburbs are up in conversation, does anyone have a direction on historic light poles in Grosse Pointe during the 1920's. Some pictures I have seen of the lights look like the lights on Madison by the Opera House. Would they have been made out of concrete back then, or iron?
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Busterwmu
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 8:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitgalaxian, thanks for that update about the Davison stretch, it must have been a recent modification... and we all thought the city lighting guys just drive around all day! I'll have to head out that way sometime and check that out.

Rsmack, that streetlight & streetcar photo is a classic. It's pretty rare to see color photos of the green-and-cream DSR Peter Witt streetcars. I wonder if the guys at www.detroittransithistory.info have seen that image before?

Jeff, I'll try to find out about any old Detroit streetlights in the collection of the Detroit Historical Society, but if you beat me to it, let me know.
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Johnlodge
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Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 9:13 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

To any who may be interested, this weekend I was at Odd Fellow's Antiques in Berkley, and they have a historic streetlight for sale. It does have the plastic cover rather than glass. Not sure exactly which model it is, but very similar to some of the pictures above.
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Danny
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Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 12:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That area must W. Fort St. between Dragoon and Junction. It the once fashionable commercial district.
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Beech_cricker
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Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 1:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Danny, are you talking about the photo that Rsmack posted with a Neisner store in the background?--Jeff
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Beech_cricker
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Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 3:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Johnlodge,

Thanks for the tip regarding the Berkley antique mall. I check it out this afternoon--that is what Buster called a "pineapple light". From what I could see of it in the store, that appears to be a nice specimen.--Jeff
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Johnlodge
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Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 3:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cool, glad you had a chance to check it out.
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Eastsidedame
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Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 11:13 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just a cautionary tale, Detroiters near and far. This is what happens when you tear everything old down and go, "Oh, shoot. Shouldn't have done that." Then you build a new one, whatever, at a greater expense than to renovate the old one.

Of course you have to find "new" old streetlights, to complete the look.


New Old Streetlight


This town square in Sugar Land is all new construction, right down to the brick streets. This was once a pasture; the real old city center is a couple of miles from here.


CityCent. fair use edu. only SL Town Sq


It really helps to have age-appropriate streetlights in a neighborhood. The more "modern" ones should be saved for the 1950s neighborhoods. Aluminum & Craftsman just don't mix...ick!
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Johnnie_sue_bridges
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Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 2:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I love this thread. Thank you!
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Beech_cricker
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Posted on Friday, March 20, 2009 - 12:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was out and about first thing this morning and took more streetlight pix, this time along Fort Street in the CSX Railroad/Miller Road area. They can be found at the end of the first album at:

http://community.webshots.com/ user/grassflatminer

I also noticed there are two different types of "pineapple" lights here (though none of these poles still had their pineapple finials). One type has a rounded globe at the bottom while others had a more pointed one. I wonder if the rounded ones are the "original" or at least older style and the pointed ones are replacements? The housings for each are different too. Hopefully you can see that in the photos.--Jeff
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Detroit_signal
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Posted on Friday, March 20, 2009 - 3:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Where can you get old copies of the PLC annual reports??
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Beech_cricker
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Posted on Friday, March 20, 2009 - 4:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Signal,

See:

http://books.google.com/books? id=iDQSAAAAIAAJ&dq=Detroit+Pub lic+Lighting+Commission&prints ec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=Lu Yh8OYGjX&sig=9tgRMQkXDTkzmZgy8 zmTM6DekrI&hl=en&ei=2f_DSY26Jp nlnQefo6Ap&sa=X&oi=book_result &resnum=4&ct=result
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Detroit_signal
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Posted on Friday, March 20, 2009 - 7:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Awesome!!

Thanks Beech!

If anyone has any of these from 1930 to about 1970 let me know where I can get these.
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Beech_cricker
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Posted on Friday, March 20, 2009 - 9:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Signal,

Best give RSMack credit for that one--he was the one that turned me on to that Google link.--Jeff
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Detroit_signal
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Posted on Friday, March 20, 2009 - 10:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well thank you very much RSMack for a nice find and sharing that with us!!! Can't wait to read through that stuff!
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Busterwmu
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Posted on Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 12:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jeff, thanks for taking those photos of the lights along Fort between Miller Road and Dearborn. I counted the number of lights along both sides of the street between those two streets once (and the bases where streetlights had been knocked down) and then came back one night and counted how many of them actually worked. I forget the actual numbers, but it was something like 27 lights (standing + demolished bases) and only 6 worked. One of the worst stretches I've seen anywhere in the city!

We have also noticed the different styles of globes found on the Pineapple type lights, and came to the same conclusion. However, some places may have been installed late enough that they all received the more pointed type, such as that stretch of Harper shown almost at the top of this thread, where almost every old light if not all of them are of this type. I don't know.

Great to see this thread still going, I'll have to take some shot myself next time I'm out there and the sky is blue!
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Beech_cricker
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Posted on Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 1:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Buster, interesting stats...I had suspected that not many of these lights don't even function. They are just so battered, poorly maintained and of course vulnerable to theft.

I think you make a good point about some of these pineapple lights being installed late enough to receive the pointed globes and alternative housings.--Jeff
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Hamtragedy
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Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 9:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

DOWNED OLD STREETLAMP

As of 8pm Tuesday March 24

In Blightmore: West Outer Drive three blocks east of Lahser/Outer Drive, south side, at the Park. Struck by vehicle.

Hexagon Base, the pole is split 1-2' above the base. The light tower and arm are original, and separated, (not sure if this is sectional or broken), includes pineapple finneal and columnar decoration. Glass is broken. There is caution tape attached to the fence of the park. Assume it is juiced.

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