Posts Tagged ‘Bridges over the East River’

Bridges and barracks in an East River postcard

January 4, 2013

This 1940s technicolor postcard shows the sturdy Triborough (aka the Robert F. Kennedy) Bridge in the foreground and the stunning Hell Gate Bridge, which carries rail traffic, behind it.

It’s only one leg of the Triborough though; the bridge connects the Bronx to Manhattan to Queens—leapfrogging over the joined-via-landfill Randall’s and Ward’s Islands.

Triboroandhellgatepostcard

I’m curious about the barracks-like white and red buildings in the background on what looks like Randall’s and Ward’s Islands. In the 1930s, the island became home to a psychiatric hospital that still operates today; it replaced an older insane asylum.

Are these barracks part of the psych hospital—or used as housing for some other group of people the city didn’t want in Manhattan or the the other boroughs?

The bridges never built over the Hudson River

December 23, 2010

Five bridges cross the East River connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn or Queens. Yet there’s only one bridge crossing the Hudson.

More would have been built if certain plans panned out. Like those for a suspension bridge linking 23rd Street to Hoboken.

Designed in 1887 by Gustav Lindenthal, who helped build the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Queensboro Bridges, it would have been twice as long as the Brooklyn Bridge.

The plans fell apart when funding never materialized.

In the 1920s, Lindenthal had a new idea: a 57th Street Bridge.

This one also died. Instead, a bridge connecting 181st Street to Fort Lee went forward, opening in 1931. (The GWB of course, above and below)

Next up in 1954 was the proposed 125th Street Bridge, a double-deck suspension bridge spanning the Hudson.

That plan was shelved too. The Port Authority had so many projects cooking then, like the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, they lacked the cash.


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