Manhattan Born Manhole Cover in NYC

One time we wrote about all the manholes inside Westminster Abbey, London (amazingly, there are over 50). New York City also has an amazing array of manholes and after our recent discovery of a Flickr group dedicated to the city’s manholes, we thought we’d highlight some of the most unique ones. Manhole covers were once a part of a town’s civic pride, with foundries and local authorities placing their stamp on the cast-iron covers. Covers were a reflection of the progress made through the industrial revolution and the new provision of services that accompanied increasing urbanization. Many of the manholes specify Con Edison or Bell, a reflection of the move to put the city’s electrical wires underground after the great blizzard of 1888.

1. Oldest Manhole Cover in NYC

Croton Aqueduct Manhole

In Thomas Jefferson Park, along the walkway off 112th Street and 1st Avenue, the Croton Aqueduct manhole, dating from 1866 — is one of the oldest manholes in New York City. Another is located at 40th Street and 8th Avenue, and one was formerly next to the Puck Building on Jersey Street before the street was paved over. The oldest we are aware of so far dates from 1861 and is located in Central Park. These manholes were part of the Croton Aqueduct system, which had a distributing reservoir at what is now the site of the New York Public Library. There are some remnants of the system you can still see in the library and other places throughout New York City.