A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers


Brooklyn Battery Tunnel

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Hugh Who?

The Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (since 2012 the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel) was being planned and debated about for almost 2 decades before it's opening in 1950. You can check out a short history here . Like the Holland Tunnel and the Queens Mid-Town Tunnel (but not the Lincoln) there were a number of customized manhole covers cast. Because of the pace of building and the tightness of space however there seems to be only one BBT cover remaining in a public space.


The design was at the cutting edge of the banal design trends seen during the second half of the century. A simple diamond grid and simple un-ornamented initials,with sloppy lettering to boot, there is no sense of pride in craft seen here.


There is no indication of what the function of the cover is, whether sewer or electricy or signals.


This homely cover is on Trinity Place near Morris St. in the triangle overlooking the entrance to the BBT in lower Manhattan.

Related Images Follow

Don Burmeister -- Photographs