Posts Tagged ‘Manhattan Bridge’

The three most beautiful bridges in the world

September 19, 2016

They’re like sisters: the oldest, the Brooklyn Bridge, gets all the accolades. The Williamsburg Bridge came next; at the time it opened in 1903, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

This steel span has lots of charms, but it was destined to be in the Brooklyn Bridge’s shadow.

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Youngest sister the Manhattan Bridge opened in 1909. It once had an approach modeled after a bridge in Paris and the colonnades on the Manhattan side modeled after St. Peter’s in Rome. These days, this workhorse bridge doesn’t get the love its sisters are used to.

Time traveling to Henry and Pike Streets

August 25, 2009

Berenice Abbott took this 1936 photo. What wonderful details: the old street lamp far off on the right, the corner drugstore sign on the left, rubbish (or mud?) beside the curb, and a horse being lead down Madison Street a block away.

And of course, there’s the Manhattan Bridge, looming like an apparition. 

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With the exception of the bridge, this corner looks very different today.

The rickety tenements casting all those noirish shadows have been knocked down, partially replaced by the institution-like Rutgers Houses. Pike Street is much wider and has a few trees. 

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“The Manhattan Bridge Approach”

May 12, 2009

The back of this postcard, printed before the bridge approach on the Manhattan side was actually completed (which explains why it looks a lot prettier than the real Manhattan Bridge approach and the streets surrounding it), reads: “The plaza and arch are similar to the Porte St. Denis in Paris, and colonnade similar in effect to that of St. Peter’s in Rome.” 

Who knew bridge engineers had such grand architectural models in mind? 

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The bridge opened in 1909. Interestingly, its cables were designed by the same guy who designed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State. You know that one—it swung in the wind and eventually snapped in 1940.

Faded ads for old-time food products

January 13, 2009

There used to be a big sign on the Coney Island Boardwalk for Hygrade brand hot dogs, which sound very 1960s school lunch-ish (and not particularly appetizing). This sign, in remarkably good condition, is on Sixth Avenue and Bleecker Street in a little park called Sir Winston Churchill Square.

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Uneeda Biscuits were actually crackers introduced in 1898 by the new Nabisco company. Other Uneeda Biscuit ads survive on city buildings; this one can be found in downtown Brooklyn near the Manhattan Bridge.

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