Manhole covers that have something to say

You walk and ride over them constantly—but have you ever stopped to read the inscriptions on city manhole covers? Some are pretty unique.

Like this one that reads “Croton Aqueduct DPT 1862.” It’s in Jefferson Park on First Avenue and 112th Street and refers to the engineering marvel that brought fresh water from upstate to Manhattan.

The water was stored in a massive reservoir at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, where the New York Public Library is today.

This next cover is a bit of a mystery. It seems to read “Sewer B of B” for borough of Brooklyn or borough of the Bronx. Except I found it in Harlem near 125th Street.

Another personalized manhole cover is in West Chelsea, marking the lovely General Theological Seminary on Tenth Avenue.

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8 Responses to “Manhole covers that have something to say”

  1. chas Says:

    I never did find one marked “first base”…

  2. marstokyo Says:

    Interesting that the Sewer *B* cover has a honeycomb pattern on it.

  3. Paul Says:

    Some of these covers carry a message from another world? This one found in Soho seems to imply some otherworldly or at the very least a paranormal message. I wonder if it may simply be another example of the artiness of the area showing through in here.

    In Direct Line With Another And The Next Universe

  4. Heather Says:

    Paul – the one you linked to is indeed art, by Lawrence Weiner. There are others too – there are several right by Union Square and there are more as well. See for more info.

  5. wildnewyork Says:

    I’ll have to look for those around Union Square and Soho. Very cool.

  6. Mark Batty Publisher : » Manholes in NYC and “Drainspotting” just around the corner! Says:

    […] that same vein, Ephemeral New York actually “drainspotted” in NYC, scoring photos of some interesting manhole covers that […]

  7. More old-school city manhole covers « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Here are more city manhole covers. […]

  8. David Theroux Says:

    I think it’s a traffic instruction for cars to form clear lanes.

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