Day 28: Early in my investigation about how/why some NYC manhole covers are manufactured in India and China I found THIS article, by Allison Meier for Hyperallergic. Be sure to click over and read it as she presents evidence of many relics, as well as some newer covers that were commissioned in the city. This article is FULL of information and visuals. She references a wikipedia page that deciphers the alphabet soup of initials found on covers, HERE. And at the bottom of that page there's a link to an amazing site of sewer covers of the world - a map with submitted photos from around the globe, HERE. Also on the wiki page is THIS link, sewer covers of the Bronx. Back to original article - Allison went on a walking tour, hosted by Michele Brody (so off I went to research her too)....the article had me opening more and more windows I was beginning to worry my computer might crash. Visit Allison's site too - she hosts cemetery tours.
Michele Brody - she is a mixed media installation artist. Those simple words hardly explains what she does. Click over and check her out. I spent a whole afternoon browsing her portfolio of work which is immensely fascinating. Michele is a manhole cover designer too! See her site, Re-Covering the Cityscape: Impression of History Underfoot, a public art project that recognizes lost New York City history, specifically buildings which no longer exist. Special cast covers, which reference architectural details of these buildings, will be placed near their locations. Love this, "they quietly reward the attentive pedestrian with an art form that doubles as a commemorative plaque". The Assay cover, as described by Michele, "a radiating Mandala upon which the experience of the city and its history can be meditated." Perfect. Hope we will see more of these.
A historic reference of the building as it stood until 1915 (source), and evidence of its installation (courtesy of Michele Brody) until it was accidentally removed. There is a movement to get another one installed. Where's the petition? Let's sign it! Again, visit Michele's site HERE. For more close-ups, see HERE. Audio interview with Michele, New York Underfoot from WFUV, HERE.
Thanks Michele, for allowing me to share your work - hope to get on a tour with you soon!
Here's some cool news: Michele Brody offers tours!! For all my friends in the metro area, let's go! Sneak peek of promotional postcard below. Actual link HERE. As soon as I learn the sign-up details I will edit this post and crosspost on FB.
From Michele's newsletter:
And finally, after a successful weekend of Manhole Cover tours for Open House NY, I am excited to announce that I will be teaming up with JoAnn Fynke, NYC Guide and Co Founder of NYCTours.us to bring Discovering New York Underfoot: The Manhole Covers of the Meatpacking District and the Village to the public later this Fall. Stay tuned for dates and more details...
Michele's "Art In Odd Places", a self-guided tour brochure HERE, sneak peek below.
One more cool thing connected to Michele and her passion for heavy metal, she is also into light metal, as in light fixtures. The etched glass designs are based on rubbings, set in a hand-made stainless steel and copper sconce. You can see more about those at UrbanIlluminations.com
In addition to the Assay cover, NYC can claim a few more. I found an article about the Lawrence Weiner covers on the Public Art Fund site, HERE. The site indicates the locations of installation, which were present in the 2000s and to remain indefinitely but at this time only two remain. Public Art Fund in Collaboration with ConEdison and Roman Stone. There's a book about it - no longer in print. Drats.
In other cities - my friend Jeanne shared an article about Seattle. Lots of cool covers there! See HERE, HERE, and HERE. I didn't have time to seek permission to share Seattle photos. But if you're interested, there is a lot to see. Even better - knowing that there are lots of projects that honor the lid with a decorative surface.
And a new reader, Wayne Wegner, who calls himself Calgary's Manhole Man, shared this article about his city's call for art as they replace 2000 covers every year. How cool to be able to enter a submission! See that article HERE, and below see two of Wayne's findings, as well as the mold for a very handsome Calgary cover, the Chinook. Thanks Wayne for letting me share today!
NOTICE OF EDIT: I'm so excited to be able to share the rubbings of David Robert. I included his link for Day 26, but now I've edited that post to display his work from the streets of Japan. Go see, middle of the page, HERE.
And raise your hand if you want to take the NYC tour with me!!