Though construction was completed over a century ago,
the Brooklyn Bridge still stands today as not only a beautiful
and iconic image of New York
City, but also a functioning link between Manhattan and Brooklyn. This bridge is
traversed by over 140,000 pedestrians, bicyclists, and
motorists each day, and is a gateway from Manhattan toward
Coney Island, the Brooklyn
Museum, or a return to Brooklyn
hotels after a day of sightseeing in Manhattan.
History of the Brooklyn Bridge spans from the commencement of construction in 1870 to the day Brooklyn Bridge Manhattan was finally completed in 1883. As history of the Brooklyn Bridge suggests, the project was consuming for many. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of several suspension bridges designed by John Augustus Roebling and is considered his masterpiece. John Augustus died while work on the bridge was still underway, and oversight of Brooklyn Bridge Manhattan fell to his son, Washington Roebling. Washington himself suffered poor health during his supervisory period, becoming crippled from working in the "caissons", large watertight containers filled with compressed air to enable workers to build the Brooklyn Bridge's foundation. Unable to continue to work as before, Washington entrusted many of the engineering and overseer duties to his wife Emily, who conveyed messages from Washington to Brooklyn Bridge workers.
Opened to traffic May 24, 1883, the finished bridge is an architectural feat, with its neo-Gothic towers and intricate steel cabling. The fact that approximately 5,000 pedestrians, 2,500 bicyclists, and 140,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day is a testament to the tenacity and history of the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge has outlived many of the others constructed in the late nineteenth century and is now a National Historic Landmark. At the time of its completion, at 6,016 feet, Brooklyn Bridge Manhattan was the longest suspension bridge in the world. Each of its four diagonal cables measures over 3,500 feet.
The Brooklyn Bridge's architectural beauty has inspired many notable artists, writers, and architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Georgia O'Keefe, and Walt Whitman. Especially gorgeous are views of the Brooklyn Bridge at night, illuminated against the city sky.
Today, the Brooklyn Bridge is crossed by commuters and tourists alike. A wooden pedestrian walkway allows foot travel in relative peace and quiet above the motorway. A stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge takes anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour, depending on walking pace and whether you stop to read the informational plaques along the route. The plaques inform readers on what they would have seen had they first traversed the bridge in 1883 with Brooklyn Bridge pioneers.
Cross the Brooklyn Bridge on foot to experience a piece
of history and breathtaking views of Manhattan, Brooklyn,
and the East River. From Manhattan, ascend the bridge's
slope from Park Row, across from City Hall Park. Or, to
take in the Manhattan skyline by approaching it from Brooklyn,
commence your walk from Cadman Plaza East in Brooklyn.
A traveler's walk back toward the Manhattan
hotels across the Brooklyn Bridge can be the best
end to a New York City
day trip in Brooklyn.
Evening provides some of the most recognizable images of the New York icon: Brooklyn Bridge at night has been captured in countless photographs. Bright lights fall on the Brooklyn Bridge at night, illuminating one of the most beloved structures in New York City.