A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers



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Local Iron Works

Bryan G. Green was a transplated Englishman who had a thriving Iron Works on the edge of Brooklyn Heights in the first decades of the 20th Century. Just the time to supply the growing need for covers for the ubiquitous coal chutes in the front of many of the new and updated buildings in the thriving new borough. The address on the covers varied over the years, but the building that now stands at 215 Pacific was probably at the core of the foundry, 229 is now part of a nicely designed building dating from 2010.


Green's designs can be considered the exemplars of the genre. Simple rings of iron nubs, centered with a five point star, with the manufacturers name and address prominently seen along the outer edge. Here the Text has an outer row of nubs and all the lettering is set baseline in.


Coal chute cover


There are many Green coal lids, with at least 4 variant addresses, throughout 'Brownstone Brooklyn'. This one is on Monroe Place between Clark and Pierrepont Sts.

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Don Burmeister -- Photographs