A mystery manhole cover on a Midtown block

East 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues has a history. This stable block became the center of the city’s trotting activity in the 1870s. By the turn of the century, it was home to hotels, clubs, and Delmonico’s on the Fifth Avenue end.

So it follows that this distinguished street would have an unusual manhole cover on the sidewalk on the south side—one that was probably quite pretty a century ago, with glass inside the many holes arranged in a six-sided mystery shape.

Gerard Iron Works is the maker, and this is the first time I’ve seen this ironworks company’s name on a manhole cover in the city. The address is 157th Street and Gerard Avenue…which would place this manufacturer in the Bronx.

Gerard Iron Works may not have lasted long on Gerard Avenue. It looks like by 1916, the company had moved to Nassau County, per a Brooklyn Daily Eagle article.

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6 Responses to “A mystery manhole cover on a Midtown block”

  1. Rick Ouellette Says:

    Beautiful cover, it could also double as a Chinese checkers board

  2. David H Lippman Says:

    Fantastic ironwork

  3. The "New York City's Least Wanted" Tuesday Edition Says:

    […] A manhole cover of a mysterious origin. The city’s history still has questions we can’t answer. (Ephemeral New York) […]

  4. Jen Carazzo Says:

    Um, that would be West 44th.

  5. Stephen Smith Says:

    If it’s between 5th & 6th, we’re on W.44th, not E.44th.

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