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Building the Kensico Dam and Reservoir
The NYC Board of Water Supply annual reports tell a fascinating story about how the Catskill Water System was planned, designed, and built, and includes many photographs showing how the work progressed. The early years focus on the realization that the recently completed Croton System will soon be inadequate, consider options for building one or more new reservoir systems, and go through the planning work for building the reservoirs and aqueduct to bring the water from the Catskill Mountains to New York City. The next few years chronicle the rapid construction of the system and include pictures of the dams and other structures as they were being built. Finally the later years include pictures of the pristine new facilities and discuss landscaping plans.
- 1906 Report – Early plans for the new water system as a whole.
- 1907 Report – Plan to build the new dam downstream of the existing dam.
- 1908 Report – Decision to place the new dam upstream of the existing dam.
- 1909 Report – Planning for new roadways and awarding of the main contract for the dam.
- 1910 Report – Construction of the temporary dikes.
- 1911 Report – The temporary reservoir enters service and Lake Kensico is drained.
- 1912 Report – 80% of the excavation for the new dam is complete.
- 1913 Report – One-third of the masonry for the dam is placed.
- 1914 Report – Almost 90% of masonry placed with many parts of the dam reaching their final height.
- 1915 Report – The dam receives its stone face and the reservoir begins to fill.
- 1916 Report – The reservoir reaches its final height.
- 1917 Report – Water flows continuously to New York City for most of the year.
- 1918 Report – The main contract for the dam is officially marked complete.
- 1919 Report – Work on the Kensico Dam Plaza continues.
- 1920 Report – Tree planting in the plaza is complete.
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Copyright 2013 by Robert Mortell