A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers


Board of Water Supply

cover image

A Hidden Giant

The Board of Water Supply is a New York City agency that oversaw the construction of one of the largest civil engineering projects in the United States, the Third Tunnel of the cities water suppy system. (ref) Supplying more than __ billion gallons of water to the city a day, it has a suprisingly low profile on the streets. This cover, along with its nearby cousin Lid 1751 are one of the few places where the BWS makes a mark. Both are probably part of the extension of the third tunnel to parts of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island and then on to Queens in the 1970's.


The Neenah Foundry is one of the largest man-hole cover manufacturers in the US, but, like the BWS, has only a limited presence on the streets of New York. It is also one of the few foundries to have a video about the design history of the firms manhole covers! Neenah Video . This cover is their Cope B "Waffle" design, made since 1934.


This cover probably allows access to valves along the Third Tunnel adjusting water levels to lower Manhattan and Queens.


This cover is on the 79th St. Transverse of Central Park, just east of the East Drive bridge and is unique as far as I can tell.

Related Images Follow

Don Burmeister -- Photographs