The Croton Aqueduct
November 21, 2002
Tens of thousands of technical drawings such as this one were necessary
to create the great water and transportation systems that were both
a part of and spurred the rapid growth of nineteenth- century America.
The old Croton aqueduct, completed in 1842 under the direction of
civil engineer John Jervis, provided New York City with its first
dependable source of drinking water. Without the aqueduct, the city
could never have grown as it did. The aqueduct ran a thirty-two
mile downhill course from the Croton Reservoir in Westchester County
to High Bridge, across the Harlem River, and from there to a great
receiving reservoir on the current site of the New York Public Library
at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue and a great public fountain in front
of City Hall, between lower Broadway and Park Row.