New York City is and remains the greatest city for vault lights in the
world. This was where much of the early development and installation
took place, where all the big names (Rockwell, Hyatt, Cornell, Tice &
Jacobs, Jacob Mark, etc) worked. 100 years layer, some of their
installations remain in place!
|Brian Merlis' extensive collection of early New York negatives
(Brooklyn Collectibles) yielded many
photos of street scenes with vault lights from the 1900s through the 1930s.
Penn Station [1910-1963] was an exemplar of
daylighting: sunlight fell through the glass roof onto a concourse of
acres of vault lights and then to the platforms below.
Designs Underfoot · The Art of Manhole Covers in New York City
by Diana Stuart, and goggling at the many beautiful illuminated manhole
and coalhole covers shown (as well as vault lights), it was decided this
site needed original and updated shots of the same. So, in 2004, alert
photographer Julia Bedriy was dispatched
to check on them and do a re-shoot. As a bonus, she made some new discoveries!
Her results are shown at right:
|Fernando Alva took these shots of vault lights in Manhattan
(also covered in Julia's shoot):
|40 Walker St.
||42 Walker St.