Hidden streams

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Every city has them: Small creeks and streams that have been converted into culverts and buried beneath streets and buildings. The bend in the San Antonio River that became Paseo del Rio narrowly escaped being converted to a storm sewer in the 1930s. Two recent blog entries highlight underground streams in two of the world's greatest cities.

Strange Maps has a map and descriptions for London's lost rivers, 15 streams that flow into the Thames, including the River Fleet:

The Fleet flows under King's Cross, which was originally known as Battle Bridge, after a place where Queen Boudicca is reputed to have fought the Romans. It ends in the Thames under Blackfriars Bridge. The river gave its name to Fleet Street, which in turn became a collective term for the British press, as most newspapers had their offices there. It almost gave its name to a tube line, but since its opening coincided with the Queen's silver jubilee, the Fleet Line was named the Jubilee Line. On a quiet moment in front of the Coach and Horses pub in Ray Street, Farringdon, you can still hear the Fleet's flow through the grating.

And Ace has this item about fishing in the basements of Manhattan buildings, where there is access to streams that were long ago covered over:

It seems that the many rivers and streams that flowed through Manhattan before it was turned into a vast concrete jungle could not simply be paved over. Those waterways had to be diverted and channeled underneath the buildings that now tower above them.

Here in Tulsa, there are several buried streams in downtown and midtown, including Elm Creek, which runs from the western part of Kendall-Whittier neighborhood, to Centennial Park (where it is in the open briefly), then underground through the Gunboat neighborhood and the 18th & Boston area to its outlet beneath the east end of the 21st Street bridge. (There was a proposal to reopen Elm Creek near 18th & Boston about 15 years ago as a riverwalk promenade, and the Sixth Street Task Force has proposed reopening the creek as a canal down the middle of 6th Street.) Cat Creek runs under Archer downtown and empties into the Arkansas River beneath I-244. Mill Creek, in the eastern part of Midtown, is underground until it reaches McClure Park.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 5, 2008 11:28 PM.

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