Monday, February 15, 2010

Questions for Curatorial: Water, water everywhere

During the late 19th century, did 97 Orchard Street’s water come from the Croton Reservoir on 42nd Street or the Croton Aqueduct in upstate New York?

By means of a hydrant in the rear yard, 97 Orchard Street also had access to fresh, clean water from upstate New York via the Croton Aqueduct. Completed in 1842, the Aqueduct for the first time delivered pure, uncontaminated water to the crowded tenement districts of Lower Manhattan—neighborhoods that had repeatedly been ravaged by water-borne cholera and yellow fever epidemics during the first half of the 19th century. Once the water arrived on Manhattan, it was held in a distributing reservoir at 42nd Street and 5th Avenue and, from there, distributed to buildings throughout New York City.

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