Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wooden Water Tank Tops NYU

This morning I was pleasantly surprised to see a brand-new Rosenwach water tank perched like a cherry atop the risen NYU tower on 12th Street.

The city's skyline is filled with thousands of these tanks, most of them weathered to a pigeon gray by the passage of time. "You can't draw a New York skyline without water tanks," Wallace Rosenwach said in a New Yorker article on the company, "You look down from the top of a high building and see a sea of tanks. We're stupid enough to insist on manufacturing our own tanks. They last forever, unfortunately."

I like looking at the water tanks of this city's rooftops. They make me think of Edward Hopper's New York, though I can't recall that Hopper ever actually painted the tanks. If he didn't, he should have.

"The tank is an icon of the city. You can almost consider it to be a flag," says current Rosenwach Tank President Andy Rosenwach in this NY1 clip, "It has so much local color in a city of glass and stone."

These days, we could use a little more of that color.
  • View an ode to water tanks here.
  • Listen to an ode to water tanks here.

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