‘The Hydrant Directory’ Catalogs the Color Palettes of Community-Painted Infrastructure



Design

#archive
#public art

All images via ‘The Hydrant Directory’

Fun municipal fact: Did you know the color of a fire hydrant often correlates with its capacity? Light blue has the lowest potential flow, while the familiar red hue is at the other end of the spectrum, unleashing a torrent once opened. But as with other public infrastructure like bus shelters and telephone booths, artists have been known to leave their marks on hydrants.

The Hydrant Directory catalogs dozens of unconventional color palettes found on the plugs, to use hydrant industry jargon. Started by Day Lane in May 2023, the archive indexes the coordinates and postal code of each entry, along with the height and date added. Most are located in Brooklyn, with a few additions from cities like Seattle and Syracuse, and users can sort the hydrants by color, size, location, and more.

 

a fire hydrant painted like a piet mondrian with four color palettes nearby

a collage of fire hydrants with the graphic color palettes they're painted in

a fire hydrant painted in pink and purple with four color palettes nearby

a collage of fire hydrants with the graphic color palettes they're painted in

#archive
#public art

 

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