A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers

SEWER 1883 D.P.P


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Sewers come to the 23rd Ward

Before consolidation of New York City in 1898, New York had already annexed parts of southern Westchester County. The areas, annexed in 1874, were known as the 23rd and 24th Wards are now essentially the areas west of the Bronx River in the borough of The Bronx. Civic responsibilities were not immediately merged and the building of sewers in the Bronx was initially undertaken by the Department of Public Parks.


The design was directly descended from the design of the Croton Aqueduct Department, but with a change to 16 spokes down from 17 in the earlier ones.


The extension of the sewer system was done on a block by block basis and the sewer cover was an indicator of the advancement and worth of properties on the block.


Covers with this and close variants of this design are present at a number of sites in the South Bronx. This one is in Mott Haven on E 138th St.

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Don Burmeister -- Photographs