A traffic-free Queensboro Bridge in the 1950s

It’s officially called the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, and since going up in 1909, it’s had other alias, such as the 59th Street Bridge, and the Blackwell’s Island Bridge.

There was even a push to name it the Montauk Bridge (Queensboro sounded too British to some Irish New Yorkers).


This spot looks close to where Woody Allen and Diane Keaton took in the view in a famous scene from 1979’s Manhattan.

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5 Responses to “A traffic-free Queensboro Bridge in the 1950s”

  1. Audrey Burtrum-Stanley Says:

    The MANHATTAN film you mentioned has a direct link to the movie FORREST GUMP! Both pictures had iconic scenes set on ‘public benches.’ The pair of benches never really existed at the locations presented on the silver screens. They were ‘movie props!’ The Gump movie-bench is today, carefully preserved in a Georgia museum;
    Perhaps the readership knows if a perm. bench has been placed at the NYC site, approx. where the movie scene was filmed. If not – let’s start a petition for one to be installed. The view is glorious and it is a bit of cinema history!

    Being a movie buff, I read the bridge’s lights are on a dusk-till-dawn timer. The MANHATTAN scene was shot in the wee morning hours to avoid errant crowds. An agreement was made between the production crew and the bridge officials so the garlands of lights would glow a bit longer. However, (just like occasional Christmas’s of the past) one entire side of the bridge’s lights failed. They had to make-do for the scene with the single strand of bulbs.

    I enjoy the memory of the majestic bridge being renamed! The delightful event on my TV screen, had me laughing. It showed former-Mayor Ed Koch standing at a bridge-median, waving his arms / shouting to passing vehicles: “Welcome to MY bridge!”

  2. Alan Glaze Says:

    The spot where Woody Allen shot the famous scene in Manhattan is a little further up on a cul-de-sac Sutton Place. It’s also the same street where Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick took their famous photo in a manhole.

  3. Timothy Grier Says:

    The land across the river is Welfare Island (now called Roosevelt Island). The Queensboro Bridge did not have an exit ramp to the island. In order to access the island it was necessary to drive into Queens and then backtrack over a much smaller bridge. The building in the postcard is Goldwater Hospital. My Dad was on the staff there and the entire island was abandoned except for the Hospital and a Fire Training Facility. As kids my brothers and I would wander around the island and explore abandoned buildings and churches. The incredible thing was the view of Manhattan. Standing on a desolate island and looking west just a few hundred yards was the Manhattan skyline. How that real estate came to be so rundown escapes me. Since that time the Tram has been built and the entire island redeveloped. I know somewhere in my old family photos there are shots of us walking among the old ruins. Fun times.

  4. A Stylish Ho Says:

    My grandfather actually kept a photo of this, I’m glad to see it again. Thanks for the share!

  5. A traffic-free Queensboro Bridge in the 1950s | Reading Other People Says:

    […] Source: A traffic-free Queensboro Bridge in the 1950s […]

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