Brooklyn Bridge

Hi everyone, hope you are all doing okay. You all know that I am a big fan of architecture, well this week I thought I would do something about one of the most famous bridges in the US, the Brooklyn Bridge. You will get to learn about its history and know some awesome facts about the bridge along the way, to it becoming an historic landmark, amongst other things. Some might even surprise you, whilst others you may already know.

The Bridge of its Time

The 1800s had made some advances in engineering, but nothing stood out quite as much as when the stunning and most famous Brooklyn Bridge was done. The bridge took over a decade to complete, and in which it had cost the life of its designer. Like with everything you found that there were sceptics that would always find fault with the bridge as it was constantly being criticized, as they would predict that the entire architectural structure would collapse and end up in New York’s East River.

Brooklyn Bridge Crossing

The world took notice when it opened on May 24, 1883, standing so elegant and magnificent as it expands over the East River, starting from one borough to the other. The whole of the US celebrated and rejoiced, because they knew that they would soon be reaping the benefits from having a bridge that not only could transport goods safer, but they will also be able to use it to commute every day. It also makes it easier to experience the big apple This extraordinary bridge, with its stunning stone towers and elegant steel cables as now become a very major route to all travellers that cross it.

History

This architectural structure of this iconic Brooklyn Bridge was envisioned by a great pioneer John Augustus Roebling who had designed this magnificent piece of architecture. John was a pioneer of his time, who had found a way to suspend the bridge over the water without it collapsing.

The engineers started construction on the bridge in 1869 and completed it in 1883. At the time of completion, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The Brooklyn Bridge was built to connect two boroughs together from Brooklyn to Manhattan in New York City by spanning across the East River. The bridge was the first of its kind to use steel for the cable wire, and whilst construction was going on, they used explosives for the first time inside a pneumatic caisson. As soon as they had used it, they must have realised what a mistake it was, as it caused many workers to become sick from it and for some, it would lead to death.

Brooklyn Bridge at Night

Since the construction was finished, the bridge has become an ultimate landmark of New York City and has been the most legendary symbol of the century. It is such an outstanding architectural masterpiece that is known all around the world, becoming a cultural phenomenon, that has also made many appearances on the big screen. You can understand why it’s a film favorite, not only is it amazing to look at, but from the bridge it has superb panoramic views of Manhattans skyline, and it’s so easy to get lost in the beauty of this picturesque sight. Anyway Here is some awesome facts about the bridge.

Brooklyn Bridge Facts

The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge involved a family of engineers. John Augustus Roebling, his son Washington Roebling and his daughter-in-law Emily Roebling who also contributed to the construction of the bridge from inception to completion.

It was originally built to connect the two city halls of Brooklyn and Manhattan together when they were separate cities in 1883.

Before the bridge was constructed, the only way to get across the East River was by ferry, but the river kept freezing up solid in the late 1800’s, so the two Mayor’s demanded a bridge be built. 

The Brooklyn Bridge is a suspension/cable-stay bridge that spans across the East River in New York, USA.

In the early days it was known as either the New York, Brooklyn Bridge, or the East River Bridge, but it was mostly referred to as the Brooklyn Bridge and this became its formal name in 1915.

Drawing of the Brooklyn Bridge by John A Roebling

The Brooklyn Bridge was the first steel-wire suspension bridge ever made, and it is the first bridge to use steel for cable wires in the 19th century.

It is known as the 8th wonder of the world.

Roebling designed the bridge to have long viaducts that raised the bridge to allow ships to pass below it.

During construction, the workers built several vaults inside the bridge’s towers that were used for maintenance.  Upper class New Yorkers soon discovered that the temperatures in the vaults ideal for wine storage.

Brooklynites walked across an ice bridge to get to Manhattan.

The Brooklyn bridge took just over 13 years to complete.

The GPS Coordinates for the Brooklyn Bridge are 40.7057°N 73.9964°W.

The Brooklyn Bridge is managed and maintained by the New York City Department of Transportation.

The Brooklyn Bridge was designed by German-born American civil engineer John A. Roebling.

Peregrine falcons live in the Brooklyn Bridge.

John A Roebling

Roebling died before construction started on the Brooklyn Bridge. His foot was crushed by a ferry while taking measurements for the bridge in 1869. His foot wound developed tetanus and he died a few weeks later.

Roebling’s son Washington Roebling took over as the Brooklyn Bridge’s chief engineer after his death.

The architectural style used for the Brooklyn Bridge was neo-Gothic.

Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge started on Sunday, January 2nd, 1870.

Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge was completed in early 1883.

Between 20 and 30 construction workers lost their lives while building the Brooklyn Bridge.

There are four main cables from the main tower that support the deck. The main cables have a series of LED lighting known as necklace lights because of their shape.

More than a million people paid a toll fee to cross the Brooklyn Bridge in the first six months. This was at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Brooklyn Bridge was officially opened on Thursday, May 24th, 1883.

Emily Roebling was the first to cross the bridge. She was in a carriage and crossed from the Brooklyn side to the Manhattan side. With her in the carriage was a rooster.

Emily Warren Roebling

The rooster symbolized victory. In just 24 hours, more than 100,000 people crossed the bridge from either side.

The Brooklyn Bridge’s longest span is 1,595.5 feet, and the entire length of the Brooklyn Bridge is 6,016 feet.

Between 1883 and 1903, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

The Brooklyn Bridge has six lanes for vehicles (no trucks) and a shared pedestrian and bicycle path.

The height of the Brooklyn Bridge is 272 feet. The width is 85 feet.

P.T. Barnum and 21 Elephants

On May 17, 1884, P. T. Barnum led 21 elephants over the Brooklyn Bridge to prove that it was stable.

There were 600 workers that worked on the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.

In 1911, all toll fees to cross the Brooklyn Bridge were removed.

In 1919, Austro-Hungary pilot Giorgio Pessi flew heavy bomber under the Brooklyn Bridge.

In 1966, the Brooklyn Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Washington Roebling

Washington Roebling the son of John was among the many workers permanently impaired (or in some cases killed) by this little-understood “caisson disease,” now known to be decompression sickness.

In 1911, the toll was abolished on all four bridges, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan, Williamsburg, and Queensboro, over the East River.

Vehicles were banned on the bridge in 1922 after two cables slipped due to high traffic.

Some workers met their fate by falling off the 276-foot-high towers, while others were hit by falling debris.

Over 110 people got compression sickness (Caisson Disease). This happened when they worked in the watertight pillars, when they came out the men did not decompress, which is why they suffered from compression sickness.

The bridge is one of the most popular landmarks in all of New York.

There are over 116,000 vehicles, 30,000 pedestrians and 3,000 cyclists to cross the Brooklyn Bridge every day.

The Brooklyn Bridge was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972.

In 2006 city workers found something shocking: a cold war era bomb shelter hidden in the Manhattan side of the bridge. The abandoned vault held emergency supplies such as paper blankets, metal drums, medicine and 352,000 crackers.

Brooklyn Bridge was designated as a New York City Landmark in 1967.

In September 2021, a two-way protected bike lane opened along the Brooklyn Bridge, repurposing one lane of vehicular traffic to accommodate the rise of cycling in NYC.

I hope you enjoyed finding out all about the Brooklyn Bridge, as much as I did. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Enjoythe rest of your week, and I will see next time.

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