This 200-foot tower originally housed a water tank that provided gravity water pressure for Manhattans water supply. Without it, it would have been impossible to have running water on any but the lowest floors of the buildings downtown. The water was pumped into it from upstate reservoirs across the Harlem River via the nearby High Bridge aqueduct, which is the oldest of the 2,027 bridges in the city. The system of reservoirs wasnt put into service until 1842, before which New Yorkers relied on wells and occasional streams for bathing and drinking water.
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