The Highbridge Water Tower                                            Highbridge Park                                                                   Washington Heights, NYC 10022

The Highbridge Water Tower Highbridge Park Washington Heights, NYC 10022

The Highbridge Water Tower in Highbridge Park

Washington Heights around 174 Street

New York, NY  10022

The Highbridge Water Tower when I walked “The Great Saunter” through the neighborhood in 2023.

When I was walking through High Bridge Park while exploring Washington Heights for my blog, ‘’, I came across the Water Tower inside the park right next to the pool that was closed for the season and the Highbridge Walkway, which used to be the old aqueduct that used to bring fresh water into New York City.

The Highbridge Water Tower is nearly 200 feet tall and stands around 174th Street in Washington Heights. The tower used to hold a 47,000 gallon water tank that was fed by the Croton Aqueduct. The Highbridge next to it was the last leg of the aqueduct’s forty mile journey from upstate New York to Manhattan and is the oldest surviving bridge in New York City (T.M.Rives 2012).

High Bridge Park II

The Highbridge in Highbridge Park

The tower itself was built between 1866-1872 by architect John B. Jervis in the Romanesque Revival and  neo-grec styles and had a seven acre reservoir next to it. It opened in 1872 and was fully working in 1875. In 1949, the Water tower was disconnected from the system. The tower like the rest of the park had sat in disrepair for years and was restored between 1989-1990 (Wiki). The tower is now going through another restoration that should be finished by April of 2021 (

When I visited in the park that summer and then again in the Fall, it was behind fencing because it was still unsafe.

High Bridge Park IV

Highbridge Park is beautiful in the Spring and Fall but not the safest park in NYC.

High Bridge Park III

Walking the paths of Highbridge Park

Highbridge Park is a wonderful park to walk around in in the middle of the day during the warmer months. I would not venture around it later at night or in the winter months. It can be a bit desolate and when you walk around the paths by the river with all the abandoned cars and graffiti can be a bit dangerous. I got some looks when walking around.

High Bridge Park V

This was at the bottom of the bridge just off the path.


5 thoughts on “The Highbridge Water Tower Highbridge Park Washington Heights, NYC 10022

  1. I visited the water tower in Highbridge Park today and was impressed by its beauty. The construction worker at the site said I couldn’t go in, understandably. He did say there are 220 steps to the top and a few landings to rest, if you need to. He implied that it would be open to the public when completed. it looks great up close and now there are glass windows in the top section giving it an airy feeling. The stone work is awesome. I hope the city and historical groups give it a proper reopening. Next on my list, the shrouded Hall of Fame at the former NYU campus in the Bronx.
    BTW, the park was lovely and nearly deserted which was a shame on such a lovely day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Richard,

      The only problem that I found at Highbridge Park is do not walk around it after dark. At the times I visited the park it was in the warmer months. The one time I went there towards the end of Fall, it does get a little shady at times closer to twilight.

      Don’t forget to visit the Morris-Jumel Mansion up by the old Polo Grounds when you are in that area. I am not sure if they reopened it since COVID but it is an interesting tour as is the Hamilton Grange closer to the CUNY campus. There is a treasure trove of history in that area of the City.


      Justin Watrel

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Brenda,

      From the research that I found through some historical sites and Wiki, it was built between 1866 and 1872 and was designed by John Jervis. I saw nothing about a gift from Sweden. Maybe some funding might have come from there but I saw nothing in the records. Yes, it is very beautiful and if you can get up to the park in the Spring on a sunny, warm day it is worth the trip.

      Please check out my other blogs on sites in Manhattan and NYC to visit.

      Happy New Year!


      Justin Watrel, Blogger

      Liked by 1 person

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