Big Orange Cones in Manhattan

The big orange cones with steam coming out of them in Manhattan are from the leaking network of steam pipes that heat commercial buildings. The 142 year old system of pipes sometimes breaks and the steam shoots up from underground. The stacks help direct the steam up rather than fogging the streets and sidewalks.

Read Orange Steam Funnels Are a New York Symbol. What Are They For? by the NY Times.

See also:

  • The steam system is a shared heirloom and on a scale that would be difficult (maybe impossible) to implement today
  • Steam used to heat office buildings that was generated by cleaner energy is an example of an inter-generational partnership, even if it wasn’t conceived that way