Courtesy of Curbed.com (a website that focuses on architecture and properties in major cities):
“You’ve probably walked by them several times on jaunts through Central Park, but have you ever stopped to think that the Park’s cast iron lampposts were hiding a secret? For those of us who were not in the know, that secret was unveiled on the show “Secrets of America’s Favorite Places: Central Park,” that this past Sunday on the Discovery Family Channel, the New York Post reported.
So what’s the secret? The Park’s 1,600 cast iron lampposts also act as navigational tools. Even with the skyscrapers around the Park now, one could easily get lost in the massive expanse of Central Park, but have no fear, the lamps that have existed since the early part of the 20th century, can now be your way out.
Each lamppost is fitted with a set of numbers at the base. The first two or three numbers indicate the closest cross street, and the last number indicates what side of town you’re closest to. An odd number indicates you’re on the west side, and even means east. The lampposts were designed by Henry Bacon in 1907, and the numbers he added are a nifty trick to keep in mind the next time you wander through the park’s lush expanse.”