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The High Bridge

About this listing

The citys oldest standing bridge, once again open to the public

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Washington Heights
Infrastructure, Recreation, Gathering Place

Place Matters Profile

Written by Gwynneth C. Malin for Place Matters

The High Bridge, completed in 1848, is the oldest standing bridge in New York City. Today, you can walk from the Bronx to Manhattan in about seven to ten minutes by crossing the High Bridge. If you are on the bridge on a hot summer day, you will see young people with their towels and swimsuits walking to the pool on the Manhattan side. The High Bridge, which connects the neighborhoods of Washington Heights in Manhattan with Highbridge in the Bronx, was built to transport the Croton Aqueduct (now called the Old Croton Aqueduct) across the Harlem River. The Croton system, completed in 1842, consisted of a dam on the Croton River in Yorktown in Westchester county, three reservoirs, and one closed aqueduct to connect them. The Croton Dam (now called the Old Croton Dam) backed the river into the first reservoir,...

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Galusha, Diane. Liquid Assets: A History of New York City’s Water System. Fleischmanns: Purple Mountain Press, 2002.

Koeppel, Gerard T. Water for Gotham: A History. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.

The Old Croton Aqueduct: Rural Resources Meet Urban Needs (New York: The Hudson River Museum of Westchester, 1992).

Primary Sources – Articles

Harper’s Weekly, August 22, 1885.

Additional Sources

Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct,, Accessed August 24, 2016

The High Bridge: New York City’s Oldest Standing Bridge Connects Manhattan and the Bronx, Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation,, Accessed August 24, 2016

How the High Bridge Rose from Ruin, Adrian Benepe, Observer,, Accessed September 23, 2016

Email exchange with Charlotte Fahn of The Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct, September 25, 2016.


Anonymous Nominator

Because this bridge carried clean water from Westchester to New York City, it contributed in a major way to the development of the City. Without water, no city can grow. Today, the bridge is a key pedestrian/cycling link between Manhattan and the Bronx.

(added April 2020)


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