NYC H2O event: Watershed Relief Map

Sunday, February 7, 2016 - 1:00pm

New York City hosted the 1939 World's Fair in Flushing, Queens. To show off the city's water system that tapped mountain springs as far as 100 miles away, the Cartographic Survey Force, a branch of the Works Progress Administration, constructed a 3-dimensional model of the system out of wood and plaster for @ $100,000 (about $1.5 million in today's dollars).

Measuring 32 feet by 20 feet it never made it to the Fair and instead was put into storage; some said it because it was too big, but others have said it was to protect the City's Water system from spies as the country was beginning to contemplate war. It was shown once in 1948 - at the city's Golden Jubilee - and then forgotten. In 1991, a DEP architect discovered that the map was stored in the Jerome Avenue Pumping Station (built 1906) when he started to renovate that landmark building. The map -- in rough shape after 40 years of neglect --, was restored to its former glory in 2006.

You can now see the map for yourself and hear about its story from NYC H2O Director Matt Malina. A question and answer session will follow with two civil engineers who worked on the water system.

This is a family friendly event. The Queens Museum also has a scale model of the entire city that is not to be missed. This event is free [suggested $5 entrance fee to the museum]

Reserve a space HERE