The current 119th Street Gatehouse replaced an older gatehouse (ca. 1842) that is located in the middle of the road at Amsterdam Avenue (aka Tenth Avenue) and West 119th Street on what was called “Asylum Ridge.”
View Looking West 118th Street At Morningside Drive, West Harlem, NY 1899 Old Harlem meets new Harlem in this rare view of Harlem in transition as this photograph peers bet…Aug 15 2017harlemworldmag.com
By 1890, the Morningside Heights area was growing and the structure became an obstruction to increasing street traffic. A new gatehouse was thus built on the east side of the street on New York City land acquired as early as 1877. The original structure (1842) functioned as the southern connection between the inverted siphon pipes running through Manhattan Valley (to the north) and the above-grade aqueduct (to the south), which was moved below-grade in 1870-75. The extant structure was built and served as the transition point between the inverted siphon and the standard pipe that brought the Croton water downtown. Work on this new structure began in early 1894, with the foundation excavated by March of that year; water began flowing through in July. Most of the structure was completed by December 1894, and it was officially completed in March 1895.
The 119th Street Gatehouse was built by George W. Birdsall (Chief Engineer), John W. McKay (Assistant Engineer), Mario Lorini (Assistant Engineer), and Peter J. Moran (Contractor).
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