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Base Of Missing 59th Street Bridge Lamppost Found In Queens

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - On the Manhattan side of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, there is a giant bronze lamppost. There used to be two, but one of them mysteriously disappeared decades ago.

WCBS 880's Alex Silverman On The Story


Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judith Berdy told WCBS 880 reporter Alex Silverman that, sometime in the 1970s, one of them just vanished. Many believe it was moved to make way for the tramway, Berdy said.

Now it has been found - in part.

Remaining Light at 59th Street Bridge
Remaining Light at 59th Street Bridge (courtesy: Judith Berdy)

"Someone did call me three or four years ago and I said 'I don't know where it is,'" she said.

There were no leads until a man named Mitch Waxman took a walk through western Queens and found it in an NYC Department of Transportation signal yard.

Base of 59th Street Bridge Lamppost in Queens (courtesy:Judith Berdy)
Base of 59th Street Bridge Lamppost in Queens (courtesy:Judith Berdy)

"An enormous piece of bronze on the streets of Queens normally ends up in a scrap yard somewhere. So, it was surprising," he told Silverman. "You know, I realized it was something extraordinary."

He thought the whole situation was a lot like the Indiana Jones movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark," Silverman reported.

Waxman posted a photo of the object on his blog and a reader identified it as the old lamppost base from the Queensboro Bridge.

With the mystery solved, Berdy is awaiting approval from a local community board so the Roosevelt Island Historical Society can adopt it, eventually restore it, and move it to Roosevelt Island.

She hopes to raise $60,000 to give this 6,000-pound piece of New York City history from 1909 a proper home near the historic cast iron and terra cotta kiosk that once served as a Queensboro Bridge Trolley Station.

To see more photos of the lampposts, visit Berdy's Google album. To contact the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, you can visit their website at

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