UPPER WEST SIDE — A local block association successfully lobbied the city to spruce up its block with five antique-looking lampposts that cost $10,000 each.
The Friends of West 95th Street, a collection of homeowners between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer agreed to fund the new lampposts by giving them a $50,000 grant.
The block association decided its brownstones would look better if it replaced the ordinary '50s-era lampposts with snazzier bishop's crook lampposts, whose designs date back to the turn of the 20th century.
"The block has quite a number of buildings that are prewar, some very nice architecture," said David Lopez, a representative from the association.
The new lampposts use the same 150-watt power as the old ones, and their installation by the Department of Transportation won't require ripping up the street, he explained.
Lopez said the new lampposts will not only look better, they'll also be brighter.
The new fixture "casts light in a wider area...it’s a teardrop fixture that points downward and not upward" so the sidewalk is more illuminated, he said.
Some attendees at a Community Board 7 meeting Tuesday to discuss the project said they'd also like their block's lampposts to be renovated.
"Why was this block selected? I have a very nice block," commented board member Suzanne Robotti.
Lopez suggested that other block associations push for new lampposts with elected officials, as his did.
"We hope to do this for all the lights [in the neighborhood]," noted Dan Zweig, co-chairman of the board's transportation committee.
But some meeting attendees grumbled about the use of taxpayer money for the project.
"That [money] could that be used for fixing potholes instead of lights that already work," one resident said.
Lopez said the DOT had already put together a plan for replacing the lights.
A DOT spokesman confirmed that the agency was reviewing the plan, noting that bishop's crook lights were already installed on a section of Central Park West.
The transportation committee unanimously approved the plan Tuesday, and the decision will now go before the full board on Nov. 6.
The Manhattan Borough President's Office did not respond to request for comment on the project.