Corazzini, a maintenance supervisor at a local charter school, inherited the responsibility for the city's gaslights about 15 years ago from his wife's family.
Oh, I didn't realize there was any gaslights left,' '' Mr.
It took many decades, but eventually the harsh glare of high-pressure sodium lights vanquished the warm glow of gaslights block by block.
The city's former legion of perhaps 2,000 gaslights had thinned to 601 by 1946 and then dwindled further to 295 by 1962, according to newspaper accounts from those years.
The first City Hall efforts, unsuccessful as it turned out, to systematically uproot all the remaining cast iron gaslights began in the early 1950s.
Fewer than 60 gaslights made it to the early 1970s.
The long slide to extinction for Worcester's gaslights seems to have been halted at 27 for now.
This past Tuesday, after a stormy winter that often stranded his gaslights in tall snowbanks, Mr.
Corazzini, 52, has tended the city's gaslights ever since as a kind of cross between a hobby and a laughably low-paying part-time job.
Perhaps the only people more wistful about Worcester's gaslights than Mr.
Artist Christina O'Neill, who painted a series of watercolors of Worcester's gaslights five years ago, also learned how protective residents are of the lights when she went around photographing them for her project.
The gaslights fascinated her as an artist because they represented something thoroughly outmoded, and yet still useful and beautiful, that has persisted alongside newer technology.