Posts Tagged ‘George Washington Bridge opening’

The brilliant future of Broadway at 179th Street

January 12, 2017

In 1910, not long before the production of this pretty postcard of Broadway above 179th Street, newspapers were singing the praises of Washington Heights and its “brilliant future.”

broadwayabove179thst1915mcnyx2011-34-2296

“The completed buildings and those in course of construction are of a far higher class than formerly built, and the advent of fireproof construction brings Washington Heights into direct competition with the downtown residential sections,” noted the New York Times in April of that year.

As for the proposed bridge at 179th Street (which would be completed in 1931), it “will be the means of bringing many residents from New Jersey to the upper part of Washington Heights to do their shopping…” the Times added.

broadwayat179thstreet2016

Here’s the same view today. The 1960s-era George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal wiped out an entire block to the south of the 1915 view—helping to turn Washington Heights’ brilliant future into one of urban blight.

But otherwise, save for those early model devil wagons and the Papa Joes on the left corner, the intersection hasn’t really changed. However, those shoppers from New Jersey? I think they’ve long since stopped coming.

[Postcard: MCNY, 1915, x2011.34.2296; image: Google]

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.