1891 Cable Road Construction in NYC

Ran into the below small image from the Electrical Engineer Magazine dated with January 25 1893. Its's small, but it's pretty clear what the description below the image says.
  • Excavation exposing Electric, Gas, Water and Sewer...
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Would be nice to find a PDF of this magazine...
So I did some searching around and found this album here titled:
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BROADWAY CABLE RAILROAD
Built in 1891, the short-lived Broadway Cable Railroad ran north along Broadway, from Bowling Green at the southern end of Manhattan, uptown to 36th Street. This early form of mass transit operated by means of two giant cables (powered by centrally positioned steam engines), which ran just below street level, pulling the cable cars along the track at a steady 30 miles per hour. Unfortunately, the underground cables-and hence the trains themselves-could not be slowed down at all, even when turning corners; the sharp turn at Union Square (at 14th Street) became known as Dead Man's Curve for hurling passengers around as it navigated the bend. Constant accidents and numerous breakdowns ensured the rapid demise of the Broadway Cable Railroad.

Don't you think these people are looking at all these old pipes during the allegedly brand new construction process, which is also an excavation and say:

WTF is that?
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KD: Don't you just love our history?
 

reverendALC

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You’ve written before about capriccio, accompanied by the suggestion that perhaps capriccio was not in fact some romantic fantasy of archaic ruin that become overwhelmingly popular for no apparent reason… that perhaps people were painting what was real.

I’d like to extend that notion to “steampunk” and its ancillaries. Perhaps what we consider “science fiction” based on fantastical imaginary creations of the late 1800s and early 1900s… are somewhat honest renditions of the last glimpse of antiquitech before the electro-petroleum revolution?

EDIT: I also find it curious that with the exception of what appears to be a large valve in a brick lined dugout, the vast majority of these pipes are direct burial. In modern days, and even in historical photos that I’ve dug up of contemporary work (to our time, in my opinion), we build all of our infrastructure in tunnels, basements, and freestanding. I’m assuming that’s to account for the need for regular service and maintenance.

were the implementers of this subterranean system oblivious to the need for serviceability? Or maybe their design was so robust that there was no foreseeable service required? Or maybe it was accessible until the mud flood occurred?
 
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