Want a little stroll down memory lane at the office supply store? I stumbled on this display (pretty much literally) on my way to work one day. There, in the middle of a parking lot are two dozen street lights. No two the same. I found them at the corner of Vermont and Santa Monica, known as the Vermonica shopping plaza. (Catty corner from the subway station and down the street from LACC.)

You’ll find a Staples, Rite Aid, a donut shop and various restaurants and shops. And there in the center median of the lot is this odd assemblage. To be honest, I found it rather unattractive at first because they’re such a jumble – if each were set apart or on a street with others of the same type I think they’d shine a bit better. But here they go from ornate to positively pedestrian with little to cleanse the pallette in between.

Each streetlamp has a little label at its base that tells where it was in use. Of course the nicer ones were in nicer neighborhoods.

It was created in 1992 as a work sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs with great cooperation from the Field Operations Division of the Bureau of Street Lighting for the City of Los Angeles (whose “boneyard” is just down the street and across from the Cahuenga branch of the library).

I know folks have written about this little display before, but I though some of us could use a little reminder that it’s there. I drive and walk past that plaza every day, so I often stop and grab a look at them. I find it fascinating to see all the different solutions to public lighting. Of course the older ones have a lot more charm and are likely less efficient. But hey, they’re only on half the time, they should be pleasant when they’re off too.


  1. Hey, I shop there exclusively for the ornate, if odd lampposts. This collection is thanks to the city’s main headquarters of the DWP lighting department, which is a block down the street on Santa Monica Boulevard. It looks cool on a dreary day when its lit up, and I think its a really cool idea to have the historic lampposts in what would otherwise be another ugly parking lot filled with vagrants hanging out at that donut shop. They have good cheese croissants though

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