As I was strolling through Chelsea the other day, going to some art gallery exhibitions, I looked up and noticed this view: a comparison of old and new NYC in the form of architectural cylinders. At left is an old fashioned water tower, and at right is 15 Hudson Yards, a residential skyscraper designed by the architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

NYC watertower and 15 Hudson Yards

Regarding the water tower, here’s some info you may or may not know: the water towers like this that one sees throughout New York City were originally placed on rooftops because the local water pressure was too weak in order to raise the water to the upper levels of the buildings. At one point, New York City officials required that buildings six stories or taller should be equipped with a rooftop tank and a pump. The angle of this photo is a bit deceptive, as the 15 Hudson Yards tower is 60 stories tall (910 feet high), which is equal to three Statue of Liberties stacked on top of each other. I’m not sure how water pressure is handled there, but there’s certainly no water tower up there!



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