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Vault Lights in New York City
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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!

Historic Photos
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.
1900s photos of New York City vault lights 1910s photos of New York City vault lights 1920s photos of New York City vault lights 1930s photos of New York City vault lights
1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s
Vault lights in Penn Station, New York
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.


Current Photos
After seeing 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: Current photos of vault lights in Brooklyn (New York City) Current photos of vault lights in Manhattan (New York City) Current photos of vault lights in Central Park (New York City)
Brooklyn Manhattan Central Park
Fernando Alva took these shots of vault lights in Manhattan (also covered in Julia's shoot): 40 Walker St. 42 Walker St.
40 Walker St. 42 Walker St.