New York’s Misunderstood Icons

They’re scattered over the city’s skyline like relics of a bygone era.  They are the ubiquitous wooden water tanks found on nearly every rooftop.  But unlike most people’s perceptions, they’re not old and outdated, but quite necessary.

Rosenwach Tank is a long-time member of the Association and Andy Rosenwach, the 113-year-old company’s fourth-generation owner, recently appeared on Bloomberg TV to discuss the family’s business of building, installing, and maintaining the water tanks that dot the New York City skyline.

Most buildings in the city taller than six stories need some sort of water tower and pumping system since their height exceeds what the infrastructure of the city’s water pressure can handle.  As a result, most New Yorkers drink and bathe from the water stored in these tanks each and every day.

Rosenwach is the only company that still produces their tanks in New York – in their wood shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  And their slogan – “We Tank New York” – is true; Andy estimates they have about 10,000 tanks around the city.