Hart & Soul

07 May 2007 692 views
 
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photoblog image NYC's Water Towers

NYC's Water Towers

One of the biggest landmarks of NYC, believe it or not, is its 10,000 water towers.  Any building over 6 stories needs a water tower to ensure water pressure to every floor because of the city's weak gravity-driven water supply. 

These towers are 10 feet high and 10 feet wide and are made out of wood because it resists temperature change and corrosion.  Approximately 100 of them are replaced/rebuilt every year. 

I spotted them the first day and "collected" them the rest of the week!  I fell in love with them.  And guess what, I just watched the new Spiderman movie over the weekend and saw them with fond recognition!  :)

[I'm in Atlanta today.]


NYC's Water Towers

One of the biggest landmarks of NYC, believe it or not, is its 10,000 water towers.  Any building over 6 stories needs a water tower to ensure water pressure to every floor because of the city's weak gravity-driven water supply. 

These towers are 10 feet high and 10 feet wide and are made out of wood because it resists temperature change and corrosion.  Approximately 100 of them are replaced/rebuilt every year. 

I spotted them the first day and "collected" them the rest of the week!  I fell in love with them.  And guess what, I just watched the new Spiderman movie over the weekend and saw them with fond recognition!  :)

[I'm in Atlanta today.]


comments (23)

Hi Ginnie, This is truly amazing. To think that buildings store their own "wells" on the roof. Thank you for posting this wonderful picture, and providing the information about them. I had no idea. It's very interesting! grin
Ginnie Hart: It was all brand new to me as well, Kay. I had so much fun seeing them everywhere! I feel like I got my education. smile
lovely angle shot, well done.
Ginnie Hart: Thanks, Dotun.
Me gusta el contraste de colores y sobre todo el tono que ha dado el sol del atardecer al edificio!! smile

I mainly like the resistance of colors and the tone that has given the sun from the dusk to the building! smile
Ginnie Hart: It was that magic hour, Jose. It became my favorite of all the water towers I captured. Thanks.
  • alex
  • 7 May 2007, 03:18
well done again here, ginnie. i like the angle, and the low sun gives this a great feel. i remember always being amazed at how many water towers there are in manhattan.
Ginnie Hart: Thanks, Alex. 10,000 means you see them everywhere!!
  • Ted
  • 7 May 2007, 03:56
I've been to NYC many times and never really knew about the water towers. Very interesting! And I like this shot. It's cropped in which give it a strong subject and the lighting seems quite nice, giving it a warm feel.
Ginnie Hart: It really intrigues me that I saw these the very first day, Ted, and wondered what they were all about. That encouraged me because it said I was looking up! grin
i love the lighting and positioning of this one ginnie. very nicely done
Ginnie Hart: Thanks, Genevieve. It was that magical time of the day.
Gorgeous warm light here Ginnie.
Ginnie Hart: Thanks, Chris. I love that time of the day!
Incredibly interesting, Ginn. I too, marvel at these creations whenever I watch a movie set in NYC, or see them peeking out at me from a rooftop NYC image. Did you get any roofscapes showing lots of them "waving" at you?
Ginnie Hart: HA! Well, I did get several shots of more than one water tower in the same pic, Andrew. That was fun. I also got many shots of them as silhouettes. So many personalities for them!
Nice composition Ginnie !! A great place to hide for Spiderman as you've mentionned it ! smile
Ginnie Hart: When I saw the movie this time, after NYC, I found myself seeing everything in a new light because I actually recognized things. That was so neat! Thanks, Florence.
  • Ruth
  • Michigan, USA
  • 7 May 2007, 13:02
Ha! So you found out about them after falling in love with them, as I knew you would. That's fun. This guy seems so timeless and homey in that City, and your photo captures that feeling well.
Ginnie Hart: Yes, Ruth. You knew I would, indeed. It's funny that Wiki has a complete article all about them. That tells me they really are a big deal! smile
  • Carl
  • Navarre,Florida
  • 7 May 2007, 15:57
Now,how cool is that!?
I would have never thought.
Ginnie,I can relate to wood,
I built my house from old wood,
I even make some 'homemade' boards.
To see these huge wooden barrels in
such a modern city,what a treat!
So,you collected them all week?
Please share.
Ginnie Hart: Oh yes, Carl. I have a file folder in my Pics of 35 of them. grin Some of the pics have more than one in the same shot. So cool. You can't help but see them everywhere you go, especially since buildings of more than 6 stories have them. That old wood really speaks to me as well. Something about it!

BTW, I have tried to comment on your site but can never get to the comment page. HELP!
  • Martin
  • USA
  • 7 May 2007, 17:12
I never knew that. Interesting bit of information. I like the shot too. The colors are so warm and there are so many different textures.
Ginnie Hart: I love learning about things like this, Martin. Glad you like it. Thanks.
I never really noticed them when I visited Ginnie too busy looking at all the buildings I guess. Like the colours on this shot smile
Ginnie Hart: Don't know why they caught my eye, Chris, but they did. Thanks for your comment.
c'est très chouette comme photo
Ginnie Hart: Awww. Thanks, O-P.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 7 May 2007, 20:33
It looks like one of them wooden things in the cowboy movies that always washes the crooks away when the hero dynamites the support structure. Great capture and I like the way you have framed it.
Ginnie Hart: You are so right on, Louis. I think I've see that movie. grin

Thanks, as always, for your support.
  • Ted
  • Washington, CT
  • 7 May 2007, 20:42
There was an article some years back about the one company left that rebuilds these water towers. It was in Brooklyn, and the article, s I recall, talked about both the history of the company and the construction of the tanks. Growing up in NYC there was a tank like this just two floors above my brother's bedroom window. In spite of their being thousands of these throughout the city, it was, even for a little kid back then, something of an object of wonder.

As to your photo, the simplicity of the color scheme is striking. the light was perfect, and it was convenient that cornice and tank understructure were painted similarly. Lovely!
Ginnie Hart: I think I read something about that one company left, Ted (in the Wiki article, maybe?). You'd think others would want to get in on the action??!!

You know that your comments mean the world to me. Thanks!
I like the outline of the wall that is lit up - makes an interesting shape and great colour combo to the sky
Ginnie Hart: Thank you, kind sir.
  • Ellie
  • 8 May 2007, 00:06
If you hadn't written all that information I'd never have guessed this was in New York, it looks much to rural, somehow. The colours are lovely and gentle too.
Ginnie Hart: Absolutely, Ellie. You hit the nail on the head about why these towers surprised me so much. I just didn't expect them in the midst of a cosmopolitan city! Nor had I ever heard about them.

Thanks for your comment.
Nice angles, and sharp contrasts among the colors. A nice shot, and good commentary. I'll watch for the towers when I get a chance to see Spiderman. smile
Ginnie Hart: You'll love Spiderman, Red Pen. The towers there are fleeting, but you'll see them. I plan to take my 7-yr-old g'son on Friday. smile
Great capture, Ginnie! Jimmy was contracting in NYC the last time we were there and I went up to the office he worked at that week. Midtown, looking towards the East River and Roosevelt Island, 32nd floor. I was astounded by all the water towers. I couldn't believe that EACH building has it's own water tower. I mean, one water tower here supplies the whole city! It still shocks me. Of course, I took pictures, too. smile
Ginnie Hart: Ohhhh. Show us your pics, Mad. I want to see them. So now you know exactly why I was mesmerized by them!
  • Julischka
  • the centre of EU
  • 8 May 2007, 07:24
Interesting information! I like it how you captured it. smile
Ginnie Hart: Thanks a million, Julia.
  • Jimbo
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • 14 May 2007, 12:21
Fascinating info, Ginnie, and an eye-catching photo to go with it.
Ginnie Hart: Thank a million, Jimbo, for backtracking to all these photos. I really appreiate it. smile
I love one thing about pics like this which is the softness and curves of the natural material, wood; and the stark and sharp lines of the synthetic steel and brick. Lovely contrast of shape and colour.
Ginnie Hart: You've been a sweetheart, David, to comment on all these pics. Thank you kindly!

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