American Falls: Overlooking Urban Waterfalls

3550 High Falls, Rochester, New York. CLUI photo

Waterfalls are at the heart of the American pastoral industrial sublime. The early nation, in its Edenic state, abounded with waterfalls, untamed ruptures in a land still forming. With the nation’s development many  of these waterfalls disappeared. Drowned by dams, or dried out by diversions, they were among the first places to be used to capture kinetic energy for commercial use. Waterfalls were also obstacles to trade and transportation, and were therefore submerged, as rivers were flattened, dammed and locked for navigation and flood control. Waterfalls are now found mostly in forests, parks, and preserves, like relics from a natural state. A few specimens, however, remain in the middle of the urban and industrial nation that formed around them, where they are still, slowly and resiliently, at work, eroding.

VIEW A MAP OF MAJOR WATERFALLS AT THE HEART OF AMERICAN CITIES

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