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I read in The Times yesterday that the City is replacing 250,000 street lamps with LED lights.

I hope they are referring to bulbs and not the street lamps themselves.

It looked as if in some places they had already installed the modern serpentine lamps which we replaced with the Bishop’s Crook lamps.

As you know many of the Village Block Associations raised thousands of dollars to purchase these lamps which the City said they would install and maintain.

The Bishop’s Crooks are like sculptures themselves and in a landmarked area add charm and complement the nineteenth century homes.

If you have any information about this please let us know.

Thank you, Alan J. Perna

Treasurer, Charles Street Association

After reading his letter, we asked Alan to provide some background on the Bishop’s Crook lamps for readers who might be unfamiliar with the issue. He kindly provided the following:

Years ago when I was the President of the Charles Street Association I had a co-president named Stephen Brighenti who was an architect.

It was Stephen’s idea to replace the modern silver Serpentine lamps on the block with the beautiful, sculptural and historical Bishop’s Crook lamps.

But when he approached the City with his idea they said that the block would have to purchase, install and maintain the lamps. So we dropped the plan.

Years later, after Stephen had moved away, I discovered that other block associations, including Bedford, Barrow and Commerce had begun buying and having installed Bishop’s Crook lamps up and down their streets and they looked wonderful.

The City had done an about-face and was now willing to install and maintain the lamps as long as the block association purchased them.

We raised $60,000 for 16 lamps from Greenwich Ave. to the Hudson River. People loved the idea, some made small donations, some bought entire lamps.

Two lamps are dedicated to a police officer and a detective from the 6th Precinct who were lost in 9/11. Sarah Jessica Parker bought a lamp, Donna Karan’s family bought a lamp, as did the estate of Pierre Deux.

This was a group effort and the effect was magical. Let’s make sure the City keeps its promise.

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