Friday, February 6, 2015

Wallet Card: Benchmarks at the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is one of the most famous buildings in the city. It regularly has some interesting exhibitions; I should probably bring Mattingly inside at some point. Too bad last year's exhibit of T206 cards, including the famous Honus Wagner card, is over.

However, today Wallet Card is showing an obscure part of the library building - it's benchmarks. Benchmarks are a surveying tool known for their high degree of accuracy in location - their exact latitude/longitude coordinates is recorded by the NOAA's National Geodetic Survey. They may be marked by a chiseled cross, metal disk, metal knob, or even a church spire or radio tower.  The Geocaching website has a searchable database of over 700,000 benchmarks across the US, so you can have fun searching for benchmarks in your town.

The library has two benchmarks hidden in plain view.  Well, the first one is a little obscured by a bush, but the metal disk is pretty easy to spot nonetheless.
A little more subtle is the chiseled cross under one of the library's famous lion statues, Fortitude.
Here is a wide shot, much harder to see the chiseled cross on the top left of the bottom section of the pedestal.

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