8' X 12' acrylic on wood panels
Commisioned by the Croton Reservoir Tavern
I’ll tell you here that I was ready to believe in every dark vision if it appeared at the Croton Holding Reservoir. Which is gone, of course. Our public library stands there now. But in those years its massive ivy-covered walls rose over a neighborhood monumental in its silence …. The few brownstone and marble mansions across the street along Fifth Avenue stood aloof from the noisy commerce to the south. Our Mr. Tweed lived just a block north, practicing the same silence. It was an unnatural thing, the reservoir. The bouldered retaining walls were twenty-five feet thick and rose forty-four feet in an inward-leaning slant. The design was Egyptian. The corners were relieved by trapezoidal turrets, and bisecting each long wall face were temple doors. You went in, climbed up a stair to the parapet, and came out in the sky. From this elevation the rising city seemed to fall back before something that wasn’t a city, a squared expanse of black water that was in fact the geometrical absence of a city.- E.L. Doctorow / The Waterworks. 1997.