Visualizing the Old Croton Aqueduct through Text and Augmented Reality

This project will contemporize Theophilus Schramke’s Description of the New-York Croton Aqueduct: In English, German and French and create a geographically relevant immersive experience. The endeavor will also digitize Schramke’s drawings and render them to three dimensions so that an immersive experience can be experienced with a cell phone.

The underlying work itself is the compilation from Theophilus Schramke’s above-mentioned book. In it, he reflects on the background, finances, engineering, geology, interpersonal influence and safety, and epidemiological considerations for building the aqueduct from 1835 to 1842. His account is of the building of the aqueduct that runs from the Croton Dam to the Distribution Reservoir (site of the present-day 42nd St. Library) and slightly beyond.

Today, almost all of the elements of the aqueduct have either remained buried or have been repurposed. Three of the four keeper’s houses are gone, as are many of the twelve- to fourteen-foot-high vents that were located above ground at one-mile intervals. Augmented reality will render Schramke’s pencil drawings to virtual standpipes, weirs, bypass valves, the arches of High Bridge, and the Croton Dam itself. The reader can walk the aqueduct and have their experience enriched with Schramke’s text and drawings.