A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers


26th STREET & 11th AVE. N.Y.

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A Fifth Ave. Coal Cover

One of the advantages of living on Fifth Ave. in Manhattan is that, although the residents can be a bit hoity-toity, the remaining coal-hole covers can be quite elegant and proper.


This cover has some of the long established tropes for coal-hole covers. In this case hexagonal studs, surrounding small circles that echo old vault light glass plugs. The customary advertisement for the foundry is here ensconced in ribbons and garlands.


Only the best anthracite.


This cover is on Fifth Ave in Manhattan between East 83rd and East 84th Streets. There are many Cornell covers expecially in the older, richer neighborhoods. A duplicate of this cover is few feet away on Fifth.

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Don Burmeister -- Photographs