Rosenwach Tank Company

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City Living, Features, History, More Top Stories, Urban Design

NYC water towers: History, use, and infrastructure

By Devin Gannon, Wed, July 12, 2017

water tanks, water towers, history of water tanks nyc

Photo courtesy of Ted McGrath on Flickr

For over 100 years, water towers have been a seamless part of New York City’s skyline. So seamless, in fact, they often go unnoticed, usually overshadowed by their glassy supertall neighbors. While these wooden relics look like a thing of the past, the same type of water pumping structure continues to be built today, originating from just three family-run companies, two of which have been operating for nearly this entire century-long history. With up to 17,000 water tanks scattered throughout NYC, 6sqft decided to explore these icons, from their history and construction to modern projects that are bringing the structures into the mainstream.

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