A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers

Plain Cover in a Rich Seat

Central Park

cover image

This rather ordinary, rather new cover is notable not for itself, but for the sparkling casement it sits in. The 12 pegs on the 'captains wheel' seat match exactly those surrounding one of the oldest covers in New York, sitting about 50 feet away, an 1862 Croton Aqueduct cutout cover (see below.)


The finely cast diamond pattern is every bit the contemporary access cover, serviceable, anonymous and with a small INDIA the only visible inscription.


Probably this cover is over a drainage line from the reservoir along with the 1862 cover. These were deep settling wells where debris and grit could settle out of the water stream before the water continues along more closed channels.


There are many covers with this diamond grid found in all areas of the city. This one with its very exposed casement are in Central Park on the walkway parallel and above the 85th Street Transverse, just across the East Drive (50 ft) from the 1862 cover.

Related Images Follow

Don Burmeister -- Photographs