Posted 4 years ago
Several years ago, I sent an e-mail to NYCDOT regarding the fate of a 1950s "ONE WAY" arrow sign in Brooklyn, NY. I eventually received a reply, stating the sign would remain intact, for that an upgrade was not required. Some time passed, and I recently learned that what was maybe the last surviving arrow sign of its kind in New York City was removed by NYCDOT last year. Thinking it was likely scrapped, I actually found out the sign was still in one piece. An unexpected opportunity came to me with surprise, and I knew I had to save it.
What is cool about this one, though, is that I know where exactly it came from and when it retired. The sign has been through a lot in its 50+ years of service, but, to me, its "off-the-street" look is definitely unique. The "ONE WAY" sign was originally mounted at the corner of Shell Rd. and Avenue X in the Gravesend neighborhood of Brooklyn. It was attached to a column of an el. Because the column is thick, only one side of the sign was visible to see, while the other side was practically hidden. That side in particular is in terrible shape, and the original words are barely noticeable. Also, at least twice, the column the sign was mounted on was repainted. It seems some careless workers painted over the bad side of the sign. Some brown (as it looks to me) and green. The paint of both colors is also noticeable on the opposite side as you could see in the pictures above.
I have two pictures of what it looked like in service at Shell Rd. and Avenue X in Brooklyn, NY. Both were photographed by Kevin Walsh and Steve Alpert.