Stanley Greenberg
 
 
 

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City Tunnel No. 3 (98-1-16)
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Old Croton Aqueduct,
Ossining (97-9-7)
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Construction Site Shaft 19B,
Water Tunnel No.3
(1997)
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City Tunnel No. # 3, Queens, NY
(98-11-2)

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Valve Chamber, Roosevelt I., CT No. 3
(00-07-22) (2000)
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Croton Dam (99-12-23)
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Jerome Park Resevoir (2000)
(00-06-61)
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Stilling Basin, Neversink Resevoir
(99-7-51)
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Spillway, Neversink Resevoir
(99-7-56)
 

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While most photographers document New York City by capturing its people, the city lights, skyscrapers and monuments, New York photographer Stanley Greenberg shows us what lies beneath the city streets, venturing into the water tunnels and catwalks, the Consolidated Edison Station in Queens, the piers along the West Side rail yards, the Brooklyn Army Terminal as well as dams and reservoirs which supply New York with its water. He has also photographed the abandoned Nike Missile Silo on Hart Island, where the city buries unclaimed bodies and the abandoned buildings on Ellis Island. In these arrestingly beautiful black and white photographs of the city's infrastructure, Greenberg takes us through sites which are often off limits to the public, revealing places which keep New York City working.

Whether photographing the massive valve chambers in the water tunnels 300 feet underground, or other tunnels which lay dormant due to neglect and age, Greenberg's fascination with the mammoth world under our feet is both absorbing and informative. Working with a 4 x 5 view camera, Greenberg researches sites which were engineering feats, chronicling New York City's infrastructure which is visually beautiful yet crumbling from decades of neglect.

Tremendous insight about how a city functions can be gained from looking at Greenberg's photographs. A valve chamber in a Bronx tunnel reveals an enormous metallic city hundreds of feet underground, comprised of huge shafts and catwalks; A construction site in one of the city tunnel's in Queens looks more like a film set from Blade Runner, as a distant light invites the viewer down a dark, foreboding shaft; A spiral staircase in Central park's reservoir gatehouse looks more like an abstract tabletop construction than a facility which holds one billion gallons of water to be used in case of emergency.

Stanley Greenberg, born in 1956, was raised in Brooklyn, New York. His love of New York City is evident in his photographs which can be seen in his book, Invisible New York (John Hopkins University Press, 1998). Through his images, we gain insight into a city's infrastructure and what happens to it with neglect. While most of us assume water will flow from our kitchen faucet, Greenberg reminds us that what we take for granted is literally eroding under our feet. His photographs show us the massive underworld which keeps our cities intact, as consumption gets greater and greater.