The Queensboro Bridge: “mystery and beauty”

This postcard of the Queensboro Bridge—also known as the 59th Street Bridge or the Blackwell’s Island Bridge in its early years—reveals a structure surrounded by industry and grit. It opened in 1909, linking Manhattan’s East Side to the factories of Long Island City.


The Queensboro still doesn’t get the appreciation the Brooklyn or Williamsburg Bridges receive. But it has fans who extoll its virtues.

In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that “the city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time in its wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.”

And of course, there’s Simon and Garfunkel’s ode to feelin’ groovy: “The 59th Street Bridge Song.”

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12 Responses to “The Queensboro Bridge: “mystery and beauty””

  1. Greater Astoria Hist Society Says:

    Check out the book

    All proceeds for programming in the community.

  2. Boris Suchkov Says:

    I think the Queensboro Bridge isn’t appreciated because it’s a workingman’s bridge, not a tourist attraction (Brooklyn) or associated with certain “cool” and “trendy” demographics (Williamsburg). The industry is gone, but the grit is still there.

    One thing that would instantly make it cool is bringing back the trolley.

  3. Kevin Says:

    great post.

  4. Erica Says:

    There was also that great scene which showcased its mystery and beauty in the Woody Allen film, Manhattan.”

  5. petey Says:

    re GAHS:
    i think just this week i saw that queensboro bridge book in B&N with a different cover. is it the same book?

  6. CelestialCharms Says:

    I always have admired this particular bridge. Being a previous frequent driver upon its upper span, I always chose the outer single lane. This afforded a more intimate feel and much nicer views.

  7. Imagining the View from the Queensborough Bridge | The Gatsby Gazette Says:

    […] STORIES:Queensborough Bridge “Mystery and Beauty”  (Ephemeral New […]

  8. PK Says:

    Where did you find that wonderful postcard and who owns the rights to it? I would like to use it in a postcard exhibit if possible. Thank you.

  9. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I purchased it at a collectibles store. I’m not sure who owns the rights to it, if anyone. it’s so old it might be in the public domain.

  10. Ryan Says:

    Where could I get a print of this painting?

  11. Grand Central Station like you’ve never seen it | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] the distance is the Queensboro Bridge, built in 1909. This version of Grand Central wouldn’t last long; it would be knocked down […]

  12. Two Civil War homes laying low on the East Side | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] in by towering apartment residences and the traffic-choked approach to the 59th Street Bridge, these antebellum anachronisms serve as humble reminders of pre-Civil War […]

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