Not everyone would agree that these cast-iron lids qualify as art. But there’s a certain beauty to the design of some 19th century examples still found all over New York.
This cover, spotted in Tribeca, looks like it hasn’t been opened since the neighborhood was the butter and eggs district.
It’s by Jacob Mark, “one of the oldest manufacturers of architectural iron work in the country,” states his 1904 obituary in The New York Times.
J.B. and J.M. Cornell goes all the way back to 1828, though it’s unclear exactly when this Chelsea manhole cover, with its low-key ornamental touches, was made.
Stars were a popular motif on manhole covers, like this one, found on West 145th Street. The McDougall and Potter foundry must have been quite an operation on far West 55th Street back in the day.