A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers

Croton Aqueduct DPT 1866

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Not bad for 150+

This cover, a remnant of the building of the second Croton Aqueduct sits in a fairly protected spot in Thomas Jefferson Park, so has retained some of its good looks over the years. The first 40 years were the hardest, when the site was a large gas works.


The design is basically the same as for other Croton Aqueduct covers, but with odd differences, even from its 1866 sibling found in Central Park. This cover has 17 spokes in the outer circle, while the one in Central Park has 19. This one has three short spokes in the center spread out over a 120 degree angle, its year-sib has two spread out over only 45 degrees. They both have 10 cogs on the outer seating, but they seem stubbier on this one.


The Department was busy building out the network of water lines across Manhattan at the time, although it is not clear how or why this cover is where it is today.


The cover is on the southern pathway, near the pool in Thomas Jefferson Park in Manhattan. Other examples of this type (some with different years) are found in Central Park and in midtown Manhattan.

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Don Burmeister -- Photographs