Handsome Traffic Tower for Fifth Avenue Unveiled (Apr, 1923)

Handsome Traffic Tower for Fifth Avenue Unveiled

IN ORDER that New York City’s traffic towers may be artistically attractive, the Fifth Avenue Association has presented to the city seven artistic bronze towers, to be erected along the famous avenue.

The first of these, recently unveiled at Forty-Second Street, contains a bronze bell weighing 350 pounds that tolls out the hours to the hurrying crowds below.

All towers along the avenue operate simultaneously, permitting traffic to cross the street for two minutes, then allowing a five-minute interval for travel along the avenue. Colored lights in the top of the tower indicate to drivers and pedestrians the direction of travel at any instant.

6 comments
  1. Chris Radcliff says: July 20, 201111:29 am

    That’s beautiful. Looks like it didn’t last long, though:
    http://www.nycvintageim…

    “By the end of the Twenties, they were view as obstacles to traffic flow and replaced by simple bronze lightposts with a figure of Mercury on top.”

  2. Toronto says: July 20, 201111:41 am

    A 2 minute/5 minute traffic light cycle would last less than, er, a “New York Minute” these days.

    Thanks for the second view, Chris. It shows it in a much nicer way. I like the domed building in the background, too.

  3. C.H. says: July 20, 20111:03 pm

    Let me guess…. none of them were preserved.

  4. Michael C says: July 20, 20113:55 pm

    All Bronze contructions… Wow even in the time period, that was a heafty investment. I suspose they were melted down and turned into ….??

  5. Hirudinea says: July 20, 20114:20 pm

    Traffic lights are just cheaper, shame.

  6. Mike says: July 20, 20118:34 pm

    Michael C… You seemed shocked that the government would waste money on looking fancy but not being functional.

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