How New York Became the Empire City

Welcome to our virtual tour of Tom Tarnowsky's Fall and Winter 2019-2020 exhibition at the Keeper's House. This exhibition was the culmination of years of research and collecting material related to the construction of this engineering marvel.

By the 1830’s New York City had depleted its own natural fresh water resources. The 300,000 citizens voted in 1834 to approve an expensive and daring project to bring “pure and wholesome” water to the city through an aqueduct 41 miles long, forever changing the fortunes of the city.

This exhibition shows in detail how this miracle of engineering was accomplished. Architectural drawings, many unseen since they were made, illustrations, maps and photographs give the context of how the successful Croton Aqueduct made New York the Empire City.

We have divided the virtual show up into "panels" which gather together visual and reference materials related to the different features of the Old Croton Aqueduct's construction.

In each page, you can click through the slides and at the bottom move on to the next panel by clicking on the "Next" link.