Monday, June 11, 2012

New York, NY

I had been planning a trip to New York for a while, mostly to come up with new slides for my lectures, but also to see if I could find one specific manhole cover.  Sounds like a daunting task, but really, it wasn't that bad.  In a book titled Designs Underfoot, Diana Stuart documented the wide range of artistic designs found on manhole covers in New York.  As luck would have it, a lot of those manhole covers have dates on them.  I thought it would be cheating to just go through her book and take pictures of each one that had a date on it, but I did want to use that book as a guide to find the oldest dated manhole cover in New York.  And thanks to her earlier work, I found it right were she said it would be.  For those of you familiar with New York, you know that Broadway between 46th and 47th Streets is basically in Times Square.  It is a little north, but not by much.  I can't think of many things near Times Square that are still as they were in 1866.  But there is at least one.  According to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Croton Aqueduct provided fresh drinking water for New Yorkers beginning in the 1842, and continued to operate until 1965. 

And of course, there were other dates in metal as well.  Here are a few:

And regardless of where you go, with a hobby this odd you will continue to get the occasional funny look.  To wit:


Monday, May 28, 2012

Boston, MA

On Beacon St. in Boston.  Some of the most ornate manhole covers I have found. 

Charleston, SC

As I mentioned earlier, I am stretching my rules a little bit when I include pictures of things with patent dates, but since this is my blog, I can do that.  Here is one from Charleston, SC.  This was taken on E. Bay St., just north of the Battery.  For those not familiar with its history, the first battle of the Civil War began in Charleston when Confederates fired on (and captured) Fort Sumter, in the Charleston harbor.   

A little over 50 years later, the city's industrial capacity was being used to lay water lines instead of weaponry...

Syracuse, NY

One from Syracuse.

And another...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cincinnati, Ohio

I have had the good fortune this semester to be leading a historic preservation studio class in Northern Kentucky. And Northern Kentucky is a great spot, you should all go by and visit because there is much more there than you might expect. With that said, the city on the other side of the Roebling Bridge from Covington has a few things going for it too. Cincinnati. Porkopolis. Call it what you will, but it contains enough historic buildings and infrastructure to make a preservationist's head spin. The Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is unlike anything I have ever seen. Parts of it feel like someone just walked away in 1890 and never came back. Granted, it may be a little rough around the edges, but if you live anywhere near here and haven't spent a Saturday in OTR, you owe it to yourself. Go to Findlay Market, have some goetta, take some pictures...

Just outside of OTR are some great manhole covers. Looking through the blog, I don't actually have that many from the 1920s. But now I have a few more...

The view from one side of the street

The view from the other side of the street...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Covington, KY

Just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Covington, KY is home to a remarkable collection of historic 19th Century buildings. And, as the pictures below indicate, it also contains plenty of historic infrastructure as well. The sewer grate is from 1955. And although it doesn't have a date, I am also including a picture of a city road, whose surface, prior to being paved, appears to have been wooden pavers rather than cobblestones or brick.

Trumansburg, NY

Another guest photographer!!
This one was taken in the town of Trumansburg, NY, by Andy Rumbach. T'burg is located just outside of Ithaca to the west of Cayuga Lake. It is famous for many reasons, including the corn maze that appears every fall, the New York Pizzeria, and the Rongovian Embassy. And they have their own Gimme Coffee, so there is that too... This bridge has been carrying the citizens of Rongovia to and from their varied destinations for fifty years. Thank you New York State Department of Public Works!