• High Bridge on Context's Walking the Old Croton Aqueduct tour. Photo by Jim Henderson.
  • Remaining, but often overlooked, clues of the Old Croton Aqueduct. Photo by Jim Henderson.
  • Context's seminar, Walking the Old Croton Aqueduct, explore the remaining above ground landmarks of this mammouth and historic public works structure. Print from Harpers Weekly Illustrated, November 12, 1881. <a href="http://www.contexttravel.com/In_The_News/Recent_Press" rel="nofollow">www.contexttravel.com/In_The_News/Recent_Press</a>

Walk Description

The Old Croton Aqueduct stretches 41 miles and once served to distribute water from the Croton River in Westchester County to Manhattan. Led by a preservation expert specializing in historic aqueducts from the Context network, we'll traverse several miles of this mammoth structure on our three-hour walking tour, tracing physical evidence of the Aqueduct through Manhattan.

As the City's first municipal public water supply, constructed between 1837-1842 and extended in the 1860s and 1870s, it was internationally recognized at the time of its completion as a model for other cities around the United States.The landmarks of the Croton Aqueduct, sometimes monumental and sometimes humble, offer an unparalleled infrastructural lens through which to view the city's historic urban fabric. Many of these landmarks, such as the High Bridge and Water Tower and several gate houses, will serve as our visual textbook as we examine the urban planning that provided running water to the city's residences and public facilities for over a century, and learn how this drastically improved the quality of life for nearly the entire city from the mid 19th century, until it was taken out of service in 1965. Along the way, our discussion will also consider the history and architecture, benefits and challenges of aqueducts from ancient Rome through modern day America. By the end of our walk, we will not only have experienced some of the most scenic and most urban sections of the aqueduct, but we will come away with a greater understanding of how structures such as the Croton Aqueduct can completely transform the life of a city.

For each walk participant, the Context Foundation for Sustainable Travel will donate $10 to the non-profit Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct, a volunteer organization whose mission is to protect and preserve the Old Croton Aqueduct.

Please note that is itinerary covers over 5 miles. Comfortable walking shoes and weather appropriate clothing are strongly recommend for this walking seminar.

Duration: 4.5 hours
Category: Architecture
  • Thomas Tarnowsky

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