Posts Tagged ‘George Washington Bridge’

Other names for the George Washington Bridge

May 12, 2011

When you think about it, calling it the George Washington Bridge is kind of odd.

First of all, New York City already had a Washington Bridge, a smaller span over the Harlem River connecting Washington Heights to the Bronx.

Also, before the bridge officially opened in 1931, it was always referred to as the Hudson River Bridge.

But Port Authority officials must not have been too keen on that. So they tossed around different options, even soliciting the public’s help.

Among the names considered were the Palisades Bridge, the Fort Lee Bridge, the Paradise Bridge, the Pride of the Nation Bridge, the Bi-State Bridge, the Cleveland Bridge (after the President, not the city), and the Rainbow Bridge, reported Michael Aaron Rockland in The George Washington Bridge: Poetry in Steel.

In the end, the Port Authority chose the GWB, which was the moniker most often proposed by schoolkids and women’s clubs, wrote Rockland.

What were the seven wonders of New York City?

July 1, 2010

In April 1953, a New York engineering group set out to create a list of the city’s version of the seven wonders of the world.

Number one was the George Washington Bridge, followed by the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, and the subway.

Rounding out the final three were the city water system, the Holland Tunnel, and the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel (partly built in 1944 at left).

The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel? I don’t think that would make a 2010 list.

In 1929, a merchants’ organization tried to compile a list of seven wonders. According to the then–Manhattan borough president, they are:

The subway, the Hudson River tunnels, the East River Bridges, the Woolworth Building, the Statue of Liberty, the “Great White Way,” and Coney Island.

Building the “Hudson River Bridge”

June 14, 2010

This vintage postcard was printed in the late 1920s, before the George Washington Bridge was completed in 1931—and apparently before a name for the bridge was officially chosen. 

It looks pretty rural up there in Washington Heights at the time. And where’s the lower deck? That didn’t exist until 1962.

Manhattan’s other Washington Bridge

July 6, 2009

It predates the George Washington Bridge by 43 years and has a simple beauty all its own.

Still, the tiny Washington Bridge—connecting 181st Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Washington Heights to University Avenue in the Bronx—is like a neglected kid brother to the enormous and iconic GWB.


This is the Washington Bridge circa 1907. The Harlem River looks like a country brook. The “Speedway” referred to in the postcard was the Harlem River Speedway, a three-mile road for racing horses and carriages. It eventually became today’s Harlem River Drive.

Here’s another view of the Speedway.