Sunday, May 31, 2015

Designation of the High Bridge as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

In 2009 the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct (see picture above), situated in Wales (United Kingdom) was inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage Site List.  The Aqueduct was built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop and opened on November 26, 1805, and is a fine example of a highly engineered inland waterway transport route and a monument to the technological innovation and achievement that played such a crucial role in, and contributed significantly to the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee in Wrexham, Wales.  It is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain.
When the bridge was completed it linked the villages of Froncysyllte, at the southern end of the bridge in the Cysyllte township of Llangollen parish and the Trevor at the northern end of the bridge in the Trefor Isaf township of Llangollen parish.

The aqueduct is 1,007 ft. long, and 11 ft. wide and 5.25 ft. deep.  It consists of a cast iron trough supported 126 ft. above the river on iron arched ribs carried on 18 hollow masonry piers.  Each of the 19 spans is 53 ft. wide.  Design and construction started in 1795 and was completed some 10 years later.

The aqueduct and surrounding lands were submitted to the "tentative list" of properties being considered for UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1999.  The aqueduct was suggested as a contender in 2005, its 200th anniversary year, and it was formally announced in 2006 that a larger proposal including a section of the canal and the aqueduct would be the United Kingdom's 2008 nomination.  The aqueduct was inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage List in June, 2009.

While the High Bridge Aqueduct was built some 40+ years later, opening in 1848, and used many similar construction techniques such as the cast iron pipes and the stone piers.  Yes, it has been modified somewhat in the 1920s with the replacement of the central piers with a steel span, but it does represent a historic structure that is deserving of special status, especially since the redevelopment work has now been completed.  While its place as a New York City Landmark is assured, having been designated as such in 1970, there may be a day when attitudes may change again, just as they turned early in the 20th century when there was an effort to demolish the High Bridge.  UNESCO World Heritage Site status would insure that no attempt would ever be made to remove it and would also place mark it as a worldwide destination for tourists and indelibly mark its importance to the history in providing the first really clean and plentiful supply of water for New York City, and thereby allowing one of the most important and advanced metropolitan cities in the world to thrive.

Should the New York City Administration file the nomination paperwork to designate the High Bridge as a World Heritage Site?  Let's hear what New Yorkers think about this idea! Please contact your elected representatives and the City Administration if you believe this is worthy of the designation and let us know what you think.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Things to Do Near the High Bridge

New York City Parks and Recreation Department, in anticipation of the reopening of the High Bridge  later this summer, has finally directed their attention to matters other than the public project including the redevelopment of the  High Bridge and improvements in Highbridge Park and put out a web page with information on Things to Do Near the High Bridge.

There are a surprising number of places to go.
In addition to the places listed there are a whole host of other locations that might be of interest to the High Bridge visitor.  There are also a lot of good restaurants and other attractions that should be visited.  Please feel free to use the comment space below to tell us about your favorite places.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Bronx's Bridge Park Officially opens along the Harlem River near Washington Bridge and the High Bridge

Even though Bridge Park along the Harlem River in the Bronx was completed over two years ago at a cost of just over $4 Million it was only officially reopened on May 28 when Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver cut the ribbon in the opening ceremony.  The construction work along I 95 leading to the George Washington Bridge had delayed the opening until that work was completed.   The funds came from a variety of sources including local and Federal grants

Thursday, May 28, 2015

New Book on the High Bridge Published


According to the Bronx Chronicle, "In preparation for the official re-opening of the iconic High Bridge pedestrian walkway between the Bronx and Manhattan, Sonia Manzano will read from her new book published by the Bronx Children’s Museum entitled The Lowdown on the High Bridge on Monday, June 1, 2015. Sixty children from three Highbridge public, charter, and parochial schools alongside parents, teachers, elected officials and staff will join Manzano in the auditorium of P.S. 11 located at 1257 Ogden Avenue in the Bronx.
After the reading, the children will follow Manzano to the head of the bridge at the Bronx Highbridge Park located at 170th Street and University Avenue where they will be greeted by the Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz, Jr. and City Council member Vanessa Gibson who will introduce the NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver as well as the NYC Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora to start the countdown to the official opening. Sonia Manzano and the Bronx Children’s Museum will present the children with their own book as a gift."

Friday, May 15, 2015

Sid Horenstein to Talk Again on the History of the High Bridge

We are fortunate to once again have the opportunity to hear Sid Horenstein talk about the history of the High Bridge and the Old Croton Aqueduct. If you have not heard Sid speak before we strongly encourage you to find time to go see him. It will be well worth the time.  He will be at the Highbridge Recreation Center in Highbridge Park on the evening of June 3, 2015 (Wed.) from 6:30 to 8:00 PM.   Sid is the Geologist and Educator Emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History.  He has written extensively about the geological history of New York City. The Highbridge Recreation Center is located at 2301 Amsterdam Ave., in Washington Heights in Northern Manhattan near the corner of 174th St. on the park side (eastern side) of Amsterdam Ave.  We look forward to seeing you there.  Admission is free.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Swing from Highbridge Park from 1890

Swing from Highbridge Park (c. 1890)
There are still remnants to be found from the early days at Highbridge Park.  While it may not be in the best of condition, there is nothing that a little scraping and painting can't do to make this look like it was made yesterday.  Back in the 1890s Highbridge Park and the High Bridge were the wonders of New York along with Central Park.  Residents would take their children to the playground for enjoyment with plenty of recreational diversions, like this swing.

Today, the swings have been replaced with newer models, but soon the original High Bridge will be back in use again.  Make sure to keep you eyes and ears open as to the actual date that the redeveloped bridge will open.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

It's My Park at Highbridge Park

Saturday, May 16, 2015    10:00 a.m.2:00 p.m.

This It's My Park season, volunteer with the New York City Mountain Bike Association. NYCMTB will be be painting, cleaning, and doing general maintenance around Highbridge Park. Hope to see you there!


Map data ©2015 Google

Ft George Playground in Highbridge Park
Directions to this location
Location Details:
Volunteers should meet at the Highbridge Dirtjump/Ft. George Playground



Event Organizer


Contact Number

(734) 358-2826

Contact Email