Event - A Tale of Two Waterworks

A Tale of Two Waterworks

03.02.21, 6:00 pm

Drawing with aerial view of the two rectangular-shaped reservoir basins built in NYC in 1842, prior to the construction of Central Park, showing the larger oval-shaped reservoir which would replace them in 1858.

In conjunction with the current Community Partnership Exhibition Ridgewood Reservoir for the 21st Century situated around the historic Watershed Model at the Queens Museum, we are pleased to host A Tale of Two Waterworks, talk by Jeffrey Kroessler presented by NYC H20. The presentation will be followed by Q&A with attendees.


The history of the water systems of New York City and the once independent City of Brooklyn is not only a story of engineering triumph, but a story about the public spirit. Clean water was essential for economic prosperity, health, sanitation, and municipal growth. When New York reached into Westchester and the Catskills for water sources, and when the City of Brooklyn tapped the Long Island aquifer, what were the environmental, economic and political factors in play? A Tale of Two Waterworks will explore the history of the two water systems, how and why they were built, how they determined the city’s future, and the story behind their unification. 


Jeffrey A. Kroessler is the Interim Chief Librarian of the Lloyd Sealy Library, John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is the author of New York, Year by Year, The Greater New York Sports Chronology, and the forthcoming Sunnyside Gardens: Planning and Preservation in a Historic Garden Suburb.