Old NYC Water Supply Walk

Thursday June 11 at 6:30pm
Bowling Green

The City’s earliest quests for clean and reliable water started in Lower Manhattan. Come walk that earlier history and see how the City’s rapid expansion eventually spurred building the much-needed Croton System. Starting at the southern tip of Manhattan Island and New Amsterdam, our walk takes us through the successive development stages of the City’s water supply. We visit old springs and wells, the Collect Pond, and then progress to the site of the notorious Manhattan Company whose job it was to ostensibly supply the City with clean water. We end with the opening of the Croton Aqueduct.

Sidney Horenstein is a geologist and environmental educator emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History. He is co-author of recently published Concrete Jungle (UC Press) a book about New York City and our last best hope for a sustainable future.

old nyc water supply – part i by api-70838561

The City’s earliest quests for clean and reliable water started in Lower Manhattan. Come walk that earlier history and see how the City’s rapid expansion eventually spurred building the much-needed Croton System. We begin our tour of the early history of New York City’s attempt to provide pure and reliable water to its citizens at the City Hall Park fountain. The original fountain was the center piece for the 1842 celebration for the opening of the Croton Aqueduct. We will also visit:

  • The site of the failed attempt by Christopher Colles to create a water supply system in 1776
  • Wells and reservoirs created by Aaron Burr’s Manhattan Company
  • The Tea Water Pump which was fed by one of the springs that supplied the Fresh Water (Collect Pond). Here we will see the “ghosts” of the hills that surrounded the Collect Pond and briefly discuss geological aspects of spring, streams and lakes.

Sidney Horenstein is a geologist and environmental educator emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History. He is co-author of recently published Concrete Jungle (UC Press) a book about New York City and our last best hope for a sustainable future.

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