I have a small obsession with water towers. After some research, I learned that those NYC icons have a fascinating history. Five generations of Rosenwachs have maintained and built the tanks, and now they are one of only two businesses still doing this work here. The tank works in much the same way they did in the 19th century. With the help of a friend, I climbed to the top of a water tank to peer inside, and I checked out the pump in the basement that pushes the water into the tank from the submains under the street. In my pop-ups, you can see details such as the overflow pipe, the dead riser, the cedar planks that form the tank, and the signature Rosenwach "R" on top.
One of the challenges of solid shapes in pop-ups is creating enough force to open the shape fully all the way to its top. I added a strut in the middle of the tank to force it open fully.
In the color version, I used sandpaper for the roof of the tank. The art on the buildings in the background are photoshopped images of prints I made, clipped and pieced together to suggest bricks.