Projects [click here for more info]:

New York City Bridges
Underground Rivers & Urban Waterways
Life Underground: New York City's Mole PeopleUrban Archeology above & below


Walbrook/London Bridge Sewer, London, UK
2008

Sizes Available:
20"x30"
16"x24"
12"x18"

The Walbrook, a tributary of the Thames River, was so named because it was the only body of water to cross underneath the ancient Roman walls that surrounded the city of London. As the city’s population grew, the Walbrook became polluted from over use. In the 1840s it was covered over and became an underground sewer; it remains the oldest active sewer tunnel in London. The deep springs that supplied the brook with water now force themselves through cracks in the brick tunnel. The spot where this photo was taken is almost exactly underneath the Bank of England.

Sunswick Creek, Queens, NY
2007



Sunswick Creek was a wide, fish-filled stream in Queens until the 19th century. Its origin was in the area of southern Ravenswood and Long Island City, and it flowed about two miles north-west until its outlet in the East River. It was covered over as Queens developed and became part of New York City, and it was integrated into the region’s sewer system by the early 20th century. Nothing of the old watercourse is visible aboveground except during very heavy rains, when the sewer channel sometimes floods and overflows into the East River.

Bradford Beck, Bradford, England, UK
2007

Sizes Available:
20"x30"
16"x24"


During the British Empire the northern United Kingdom produced most of the world's wool and cotton. These "wealth of the nation" industrial towns depended on water to power their factories through the early 19th century, paving the way for the Industrial Revolution. The Bradford Beck once ran mightily through the center of town but as steam power and electricity became more common, and the beck became more polluted, it was channeled underground, and forgotten. The arches seen here are not only part of the underground waterway, but are also the foundations for Bradford’s 19th century city hall.

River Fleet Intersection, London, UK
2007

Sizes Available:
20"x30"
16"x24"
12"x18"

One of the largest tributaries of the Thames in the early days of London was the River Fleet, which was a water source and transportation route from Roman times onward. As late as 1826, it was recorded that the river was 65 feet wide as it passed through the area that is now Camden Town. In the 1850s, a series of sanitation crises led London to build a massive sewer network under the engineer Bazalgette. A huge brick tunnel was built around the River Fleet as part of this effort, well over twenty feet high at its largest points, and it serves now as one of the largest sewer channels in the city. This photo shows an intersection of two channels of this tunnel.

Tyburn River/King's Scholar's Pond Sewer, underneath Buckingham Palace, London, UK
2007

Sizes Available:
20"x30"
16"x24"
12"x18"

(To be added)

Linden Brook/Hoyt Avenue Sewer, Queens, NYC
2006

Sizes Available:

(To be added)

Tibbett's Brook, Bronx, NYC
2008

Sizes Available:
20"x30"
16"x24"
12"x18"

Tibbett’s Brook was a small stream that ran through the area that is now Van Cortlandt Park, feeding its water into marshy meadows before continuing south to outlet into the Spuyten Duyvil Creek. As the Bronx developed, some marshy areas were drained, and the brook was channeled into this tunnel for the southernmost portion of its route through Van Cortlandt Park. From there, its water fed into the main sewer line in the Bronx, a double-channeled tunnel capped with beautifully crafted brick arches, running directly underneath Broadway.

Canoeing Underground Rivers
2006



One of the largest culverts for an underground urban river in America is the tunnel that carries the Park River underneath Hartford, CT. Though Hartford is no longer among the nation’s great cities, it was once an economic powerhouse, earning the sobriquet “the insurance capitol of the world” and communicating with businesess worldwide via the marine highway of the Connecticut River.
The Park River, a tributary of the Connecticut River, flows through the center of Hartford and in the early days of the city it supplied water for drinking, washing, and powering mills until it was pushed underground by development in the early 20th century. Like many urban rivers, its flow is drastically reduced in dry weather. The massive concrete channel around it, however, reflects its potential to flood in wet weather or storms.
Like Hartford, Newark, NJ is one of the older cities in the nation, and it also rose to prominence in the 19th century before declining in the 20th. It is built along the Passaic River, which is part of an estuary and therefore saline and tidal. For fresh water, and for a constant flow that could power mills, the city’s founders looked toward Mill Creek, also known as First River. As Newark became an industrial center in the late 19th-century, watercourses like Mill Creek were transformed into sewers. This picture was taken inside the combined sewer tunnel that now carries Mill Creek, near its outfall into the Passaic. At high tide, the water rises to half-fill the tunnel, but at low tide it recedes below the level of the tunnel’s mouth. (Most of the dry-weatherflow is diverted, a little upstream, to a sewage treatment plant, so there is often little or no flow through this outfall at low tide.)

Roots in the Old Croton Aqueduct, Manhattan, NYC
2007

Sizes Available:
20"x30"
16"x24"
12"x18"

Now abandoned, the Old Croton was opened in 1842 and was the first aqueduct to supply NYC with fresh water, allowing the city to expand vastly in the 19th century. The majority of the aqueduct, as shown here in a section underneath the Bronx, is a brick tunnel, stretching about 40 miles from Manhattan to upstate New York reservoirs. It was the largest engineering project that had ever been undertaken in the United States when it was built in the 1840s.

Canal Street Sewer, Manhattan, NYC
2008

Sizes Available:
20"x30"
16"x24"
12"x18"

(To be added)

Canal Street Sewer with inflow of Spring Water, Manhattan, NYC
2008

Sizes Available:
20"x30"
16"x24"
12"x18"

(To be added)

Knickerbocker Avenue Extension Sewer, Brooklyn, NYC
2007

Sizes Available:
16"x24"
12"x18"

This shows the Knickerbocker Avenue Extension Sewer, underneath Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY. It was built in 1885, within a few years of much more obvious public projects like the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge and the installation of the Statue of Liberty. However, in its own way, this sewer was a profound engineering achievement as well: the 12-foot diameter brick tunnel was one of the first sewerage tunnels to be dug as a deep tunnel, rather than an open cut, and the techniques invented for this project paved the way for modern tunneling technology.hall.