The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York City's most iconic landmarks. Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan to Brooklyn and has been a symbol of the connection and collaboration between the two boroughs for years.
Spanning the East river, the bridge provides beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty.
The History of Brooklyn Bridge
When Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, and it remains one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States to this day.
There are two entrances, one on the Manhattan side and one on the Brooklyn side. The Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian walkway provides an enjoyable and scenic way to cross the East River, and it's incredibly popular with tourists.
Construction began in 1870, and the bridge was completed 13 years later. The project was initially led by John Augustus Roebling, who sadly passed away and died of tetanus in 1869.
John Roebling was succeeded by his son, Washington Roebling, but he was also forced to step down after being crippled by caisson disease.
Emily Warren Roebling, Washington's wife, stepped in to oversee the construction, becoming the first woman to do so in a large-scale construction project.
The challenges faced by this remarkable family did not prevent the bridge from opening with great fanfare on May 24, 1883. The celebrations included an hour-long fireworks display.
Two masonry towers support the main span of the Brooklyn Bridge, which is 1,595 feet long. The bridge has six car lanes, as well as dedicated trolley tracks and a pedestrian promenade.
Tourists often use the pedestrian walkway to cross over to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, located at the Brooklyn entrance of the bridge, a popular picnic spot and green space.
The Brooklyn Bridge is a National Historic Landmark and is considered a masterpiece of engineering and design.
The bridge's design has served as a model for other suspension bridges around the world. It's often featured in films, books, and photos as a symbol of the city.
Brooklyn Bridge Facts
Did you know that the iconic Brooklyn Bridge was built to save money? The New York City Department of Bridges wanted to connect Manhattan and Brooklyn without paying tolls to the private East river ferry companies. By constructing the Brooklyn Bridge, the city could provide a free alternative for travelers.
Nearly 30 construction workers died during the construction. Several workers fell from the 276-foot towers, were hit by debris, or succumbed to caisson disease.
When the bridge first opened, more than 150,000 people streamed across in 24 hours as part of the opening ceremony. However, many Irish residents boycotted the event as it coincided with Queen Victoria's birthday.
The Brooklyn Bridge charged a toll when it opened. Pedestrians paid a penny, horses paid five cents, and a horse with a wagon paid ten cents.
Cows were charged cents, and sheep and pigs had to pay two cents. After civic groups applied significant pressure, the toll was lifted in 1891.
Getting to the Brooklyn Bridge
The nearest subway lines to the Brooklyn Bridge are the 4, 5, 6, J, and Z lines, which all have stations at or near the entrances of the bridge. The bridge is also within walking distance of downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights.
You can easily access the Brooklyn bridge from the Borough Hall station on the Brooklyn side or the City Hall Station on the Manhattan side. If you are traveling by car, you'll probably use the highway (FDR Drive).
The Brooklyn Bridge has its own dedicated lane leading to the entrance ramps of the bridge at the intersection of Cadman Plaza East and Tillary Street.
The Manhattan entrance is located at the intersection of Centre Street and Park Row. The approaches to the bridge are lined with elegant staircases leading down to the ground level.
Brooklyn Bridge remains one of the most impressive and iconic landmarks in New York City. The rich history and impressive design, not to mention the beautiful views over the East River, makes the Bridge a worthy attraction for tourists and locals alike.
Brooklyn Bridge remains a vital part of New York and its boroughs and serves as a true symbol and reminder of the ingenuity, innovation, and pure grit of the city and its people.
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