~subterranean river~

June 10th, 2017

(Click to expand image)

Ashokan Reservoir, first stop of the The Catskill Aqueduct, built 1917-1924 and supplying 40% of NYC’s water. Whole towns were drowned in its construction (read about that here), and temporary towns were made to house those who built it. Some of the bluestone pulled from the quarry of this reservoir was used in the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. From the 1909 press release in Harper’s:

Subterranean river! The mere name has always held a mysterious and romantic fascination. A reversed subterranean river is what the Board of Water Supply is creating. Instead of beginning with tiny streams in dark fissures of the rock or some surface rivulets which sink out of sight, this river will start at its large end from the Ashokan reservoir, an extensive artificial lake, and flow for scores of miles without change of volume, coming to the light only in the beautiful Kensico Lake and Hill View reservoir’s huge bowl, whence it will ramify through the hundreds of miles of tunnels and pipes beneath the city streets, issuing finally through faucets and hydrants in thousands of jets to serve those who have bidden it flow thus in constraint. 

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