Historical Significance of Reservoir # 3
Bounded by Summit and Central Avenues, in the Heights section of Jersey City, and owned by the City of Jersey City, Reservoir # 3
is the last of originally three colossal stone reservoirs erected in 1851 to supply drinking water to a growing immigrant population.
Similar in design to the famous Croton Reservoir in Manhattan (demolished to make way for the NY Public Library), Reservoir # 3
features giant battered Egyptian walls, curved ledges, two pump houses, and a startling series of interior stone steps that resemble an ancient temple.
Massive iron pipes laid deep underground connect Reservoir # 3 to the Passaic River, whose water had been
deemed so pure that one could see to the deep bottom of its crystalline bed. Reservoir # 3 provided drinking water via a gravity system to Jersey City's newly-rising tenements, schools, hospitals, churches, and fire hydrants. A special pipe was laid to provide water to Liberty and Ellis Islands.
Reservoir # 3 was once landscaped with a green park nearly twenty feet above the cobbled streets; residents were able to enter its
great iron gates and take a stroll around the waterbed's square perimeter.
Abandoned for a larger waterworks in Boonton, NJ, Reservoir # 3 was finally emptied in the 1980's (revealing natural bluffs
on the reservoir floor).
(Video was created by Denis Luzuriaga and Steve Latham)