Archville Bridge

Street Address/Location: Archville, NY: spanning Route 9 (Albany Post Road), between Rockwood Road and Arch Hill Road.
Town/City: Archville, NY
County: Westchester
Owner: New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
Architect/Engineer: John B. Jervis, Horatio Allen and H.T. Anthony, Engineers
Historic Use: Aqueduct, pedestrian and equestrian bridge
Present Use: demolished in 1924 to make room for vehicles to pass through on Route 9, this bridge was replaced in 1998 and is now used once again as a pedestrian and equestrian bridge.
Typology: Bridge
Architectural Style: Stone single arch bridge
Period(s) of Construction: 1837-1842: aqueduct bridge, 1998: pedestrian & equestrian bridge
Date of Decommissioning: bridge demolished in 1924, aqueduct re-directed through inverted siphon under the road.
Date(s) of Demolition: 1924
Structural System/Materials: Granite
Significant Alterations: 1837-39: Aqueduct Bridge completed; 1824: bridge demolished and aqueduct redirected through inverted siphon under Route 9; 1998: steel and wood bridge built to re-connect the sides of Route 9.
Brief Architectural Description:
What was, from 1839 to 1924, a 160-foot long granite single arch bridge also carried the Croton water from one side of the road to the other while joining two Rockefeller family properties across Albany Post Road (Route 9).  To make room enough for automobiles to drive on Route 9, the bridge was demolished, and water diverted under Route 9 through an inverted siphon.
Seventy four years later, a core-ten (self-rusting) steel and wood pedestrian and equestrian bridge was erected, making the crossing, for man and horse, much easier once more.
Brief Statement of Historic Significance:
The original granite Archville Bridge connected two Rockefeller estates: Kykuit (John D.  Rockefeller) and Rockwood Hall (John’s brother, William Rockefeller). The surface where bridge met its landing sits some twenty-nine feet above the surface of the road below.  When the bridge was removed to make way for auto traffic, the water was still able to move through its diverted path, but the hiking and bridle path were abruptly severed.  Crossing Route 9 was only possible with great risk or with a tremendously altered path. The new bridge, designed to resemble a traditional horse stall, with wood planks on the interior sides of the bridge, is designed to calm the horses and distract them from the potential traffic sounds below.

Accessibility to Public: Since 1998, Archville Bridge is open to the public.
Landmark Status: The Croton Water Supply System was designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1975. The Old Croton Aqueduct was designated on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1992.
Threats: The original bridge was demolished.  After a seventy-four year absence, a new bridge is in its place, no longer serving as a function of the old water supply system.
Current Interpretation:
On one side of the Archville Bridge, is the Archville Bridge Monument; it is a rectangular stone structure upon which 3 plaques are placed.  The first denotes the Archville Bridge’s engineers and the water commissioners.  The second plaque, from the City of New York Water Supply, Gas & Electricity, explains the first and notes the removal of the bridge and the redirection of the aqueduct under the road through an inverted siphon. The third plaque, from the State of New York, Office of Parks, Recreation and Preservation, commemorates the new bridge and notes its patronage through the State of New York Department of Transportation and the Rockefeller Family.

Rockwood Hall – the Hudson River from the old Rockefeller mansion ruins    Carriage trail at Rockefeller State Preserve

“Old Croton Aqueduct,”, as retrieved 2.27.2011.

Middlebrooks, John, “A Memoir of the Archville Bridge,” Friends of the Croton Aqueduct Newsletter, 31, Winter 2008-2009,, as retrieved 2.27.2011

Jennifer Frazer

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