It’s interesting that the oldest manhole cover in New York is located here, in Harlem. This remnant, with the date – 1866 – proudly cast, is from the original Croton Aqueduct system that brought much-needed fresh water to New York City in the 19th Century.
The water, of course, began upstate and was brought down via a piping system that entered NYC in the Bronx, and crossed into Manhattan on the High Bridge.
The gorgeous water tower in Washington Heights was also a part of this system. The tower has recently been renovated and is now available to tour with NYC Park Rangers.
See this schedule for information.
The water, of course, flowed downhill from Washington Heights to Harlem and then eventually Lower Manhattan. The system of access points for dealing with this flow of water was covered by manhole covers like the one photographed, above. This particular example is located in Jefferson Park.
Columbia, eager to be a good, if imposing neighbor, has highlighted 10 important Columbians: