They’ve been part of New York City since the 19th century: short, enclosed bridges that look like railway cars (and could make for pretty cool little apartments) connecting one building to another.
Functional yet decorative, these skybridges still exist all over the city—many in unusual corners and alleys.
One of the loveliest is this skywalk in Tribeca. Built in 1907, it linked New York Hospital’s House of Relief (such a wonderful name for a medical facility), at the corner of Hudson and Jay Streets, to a new hospital annex across Staple Street, then an industrial alley.
The annex housed a stable and laundry facility; you can imagine early 20th century nurses carting sheets and gowns and blankets back and forth across the skybridge day after day.
The transverse in Chelsea near Tenth Avenue has cathedral-like windows that let in lots of light.
This gem on 24th Street between Madison and Park Avenues, bridging the Metropolitan Life Tower to the MetLife North building (no longer occupied by MetLife, though), has a graceful arch and appropriate Art Deco touches.
It almost looks like an old-school diner in the air.
Perhaps the most striking of all is the copper skybridge at the former Gimbels building on 32nd Street. Constructed in 1925, it actually resembles a bridge; it linked the main Gimbels department store to a new annex across the street and three stories into the sky.
The Bowery Boys recently posted a fascinating and rare glimpse inside this mostly abandoned walkway over Herald Square. Gimbels is long gone, but the transverse remains, and the photos are ghostly.
[Bottom photo: Wikipedia]