The Iconic New York City… Water Tower?

In that most sophisticated of cities, New York, New York, the wooden water tower still reigns supreme. has a fascinating story on the many wooden water towers that dot the skyline. You might  mistake these for relics of days gone by, but even the newer towers look old, as the material of choice is still wood.

In the city, buildings taller than six stories need some sort of independent water tower and pump system to deliver adequate water pressure.

On East 57th Street, New York City, three architectural approaches for rooftop water towers. (From Wikipedia Commons)

An excerpt from (Read the full story here.)

Water towers: NYC’s misunderstood icons

New York City’s skyline is dotted with wooden water towers that are easy to mistake for vanishing relics of the bygone eras of seltzer bottles and street gas lamps.

But what many New Yorkers don’t realize is the towers are hardly antiques — in fact, most drink and bathe from the water stored in them every day.

“When I tell people what I do for a living, they can’t believe it is still done,” said Kenny Lewis, foreman of the Rosenwach Tank Co.’s wood shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the only one like it in the city. “After people notice the tanks, they can’t believe how many there are.”

2 replies
  1. Aquadoc
    Aquadoc says:

    The Christian Science Monitor had a nice story about these wooden tanks about six-eight months ago.

    As a child I remember seeing them and thinking they were relics.


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