Brooklyn Bridge in New York City: description, history, interesting facts

Brooklyn Bridge in New York City: description, history, interesting facts
Brooklyn Bridge in New York City: description, history, interesting facts

Brooklyn Bridge is, of course, the hallmark of New York. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of attractions in the metropolis, this place has won the greatest love and the number of fans. His image is replete in every second American film, and the majesty and beauty are amazing. Let's get acquainted with this proud "old man" - the Brooklyn Bridge.

Bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan


An amazing building is located in North America, in the city of New York. It was opened in 1883. The length of the Brooklyn Bridge is almost 2 km, to be more precise - 1825 m. For a long time it was the longest bridge in New York and one of the longest suspended structures in the world. An amazing feature is that it was built from steel cables, and it was a pioneer in such technologies.

The height of the Brooklyn Bridge is 41 m. This is exactly the same as that of its neighbors - Manhattan and Williamsburgbridges. The main span is 486.3 m long. It was built in neo-Gothic style.

In 1964, the bridge became a National Historic Landmark, as evidenced by a direct entry in the public register. This is a very popular place of recreation for residents and tourist pilgrimage for visitors. Thanks to the reverent attitude of Hollywood directors, who show it in all its glory in films, the bridge has become a beloved symbol of New York.

What connects

The Brooklyn Bridge is located on the East River and connects two large areas of the city - Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Manhattan is not just one of the most important areas of the entire United States, it is the heart of America. On a small island is the whole life of the metropolis and the whole country. Here are the offices of the most significant companies and stock exchanges, the most interesting sights, hundreds of theaters, museums, exhibitions. A small piece of land is home to 1.6 million inhabitants.

In the early 19th century, Manhattan and Brooklyn were two separate cities. Unlike the city that never sleeps, Brooklyn has always been considered a downtown bedroom community. The population has always lived here more, but the bustle was replaced by the calmness and tranquility of a family idyll. Brooklyn has always been called "the globe in miniature." This is not surprising, because representatives of various nationalities gathered on a small island called Long Island: Russians, Jews, Chinese, Arabs, Indians and many others. The Russian quarter, described in one of the Soviet films, is called Brighton Beach.

View but night bridge

Construction history

The tragic fate of its creator, John Roebling, is connected with the beginning of the construction of the bridge. He was a German engineer, a bridge builder, who first proposed the use of steel cables instead of cast iron, which would be stronger and more reliable. When he proposed his project, the government immediately approved it. In 1869, John Roebling worked hard to create a drawing and take control measurements. One day, while on a boat, he got carried away and did not notice how close the ferry approached. His leg was accidentally squeezed between the courts so hard that it crushed the bones. As a result of blood poisoning, gangrene began to develop, and the foot had to be amputated. But this did not save the engineer. A few months later, he died in a coma from tetanus.

But the story of the Brooklyn Bridge continued. And John's son, Washington Roebling, took over the job. He helped his father in everything and was no less talented.

History of the Brooklyn Bridge

Difficulties of the first stage

The giant bridge stands on several pillars. But how were they to be secured under water at the end of the 19th century without modern technology? It was extremely difficult. To solve this problem, Washington Roebling suggested that workers go underwater through giant wooden boxes reinforced with granite. Inside, water was pumped out and compressed air was supplied so that one could breathe. At the bottom, work was carried out on digging and digging the channel. After the preparatory stage, when the workers dug to a solid rock, they undermined it and inserted piles,who became a pillar.

The danger came from where it was not expected. Working under water at high air pressure led to the fact that the workers complained of wild pains in the joints, vomiting, convulsions. Later, this ailment will be called caisson disease. In the meantime, construction was underway, hundreds of men were injured. Five died. The trouble did not pass and Washington itself. Having survived two attacks of decompression sickness, he was paralyzed and now he could only observe the progress of construction from afar.

Underwater work

The woman who saved the building

New York shuddered. Will the greatest building of its time ever remain unfinished? Already two chief engineers bowed their heads before her. But the situation was saved by Washington's wife, Emily Roebling. She was a very strong-willed and talented girl. From the very beginning of construction, she was interested in her husband's work and was privy to all the details. When her husband fell ill, she came to the site and gave his instructions to the workers. Soon everyone began to consider her their boss.

Thanks to Emily the Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883. It took 14 long years to build, of which 11 were essentially headed by a woman.

Emily Roebling


The solemn event took place on May 24th. This day was declared a public holiday in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Hundreds of thousands of people came to see the greatest creation of New York. The orchestra played on the bridge all day, and in the evening there was a grandiose fireworks display. All dignitaries, priests, heads of cities and even the President of the United States attendedevent. Emily Roebling, along with the president, was one of the first to cross the bridge on horseback.

More than 150,000 people walked across the bridge that day. 2,000 vehicles passed. Today, the traffic flow of the Brooklyn Bridge is 150,000 cars daily.

Bridge Opening Day

Elephants on the bridge

Just a few days after opening, another tragedy struck. People actively used the innovation and wondered how a structure hanging above the water can withstand the weight of hundreds of carriages, horses and citizens at the same time? At the time, it was fantasy. By chance, on May 30, 1883, a woman stumbled and fell. A "joker" who was passing nearby, frightened, shouted that the bridge was collapsing. People in panic began to run to the shore. As a result of the stampede, 12 people died and 36 were seriously injured.

The city authorities decided to calm the residents in a very unusual way. They invited the famous circus company Barnum & Bailey to help realize their goals and reassure citizens that the Brooklyn Bridge was safe. New York loved the circus. Especially favorite was the baby elephant Jumbo. And so, on May 17, 1884, "Barnum" brought all his wards to the bridge: twenty-one elephants, 17 camels and, of course, Jumbo's favorite, who brought up the rear. The group easily walked back and forth across the bridge, convincing people of the strength of the structure.

Elephant procession


French daredevil Thierry Devaux made the largest number of bridge jumps. He bungee jumped 8 times. But he doesn'twas a pioneer. Before him, Professor Robert Emmett Odlum had made a tragic maneuver. His goal was to prove to people that jumping from burning houses can save lives. He already had several jumps from other bridges in New York. But on this day, things didn't go according to plan. In flight, Emmett turned around so that he fell flat on the water and hit very hard. His friend, belaying on the boat below, picked up the professor, but it was already impossible to save him. The blow damaged the ribs and ruptured the internal organs. So the Brooklyn Bridge claimed another life.

Secret hideout

During the Cold War, all of America was worried about the attack of the Soviet Union. Bunkers were built in the country and strategic reserves were laid aside. The presence of a shelter under the Brooklyn Bridge became known in the early 2000s, when workers were carrying out scheduled repairs. They accidentally discovered a secret door leading to a small room full of food and warm clothes.

In the 60s of the 20th century, paranoia was not only among the people, but also among the government. They were not able to think rationally. After all, if a real atomic or hydrogen bomb had fallen on New York, then everything would have been demolished overnight and no one would have had time to run to the bunkers.

Wine Cellars

Another of the secret places of the underwater part of the bridge is the room where the wine is stored. A cellar with alcoholic beverages was also found quite by accident 50 years after the date of manufacture on the bottles. Obviously, in this way the authorities wanted to recoup the construction costs and rented the premises to merchants.

By the way, this was not the only way to profit. At the beginning of the 20th century, a small trailer ran across the bridge, transporting people across the East River. The fare was 5 cents and took 5 minutes. It was much cheaper to cross the bridge on foot - for 1 penny. On a horse, 5 pennies. And if there was a cart or a carriage, then as much as 10 pennies! The price was also influenced by the size of the cattle. Take a walk with a cow - 5 cents, with a sheep or a dog - 2 cents.

Brilliant Scam

The biggest financial scam is connected with the Brooklyn Bridge (New York). She was brilliant and simple. One swindler named George Parker sold ownership of the bridge to gullible tourists. And it was very popular. People coming from other countries considered America a country of endless possibilities. The tempting offer to own the whole bridge could not go unnoticed. For a modest fee, they received a bright piece of paper, which testified that this person became the new owner. The police had more work to do: eccentrics appeared 2-3 times a week, demanding either repainting or rebuilding the bridge or changing prices for crossing it.

George Parker wasn't just selling the Brooklyn Bridge. Documents for the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and the Metropolitan Museum of Art were in demand. After these events, the persistent expression "sell the Brooklyn Bridge" appeared in American speech, which means to deceive a gullible person.

In the cinema

Interesting facts about the Brooklyn Bridge can be told endlessly. But even more interesting to watchdevelopment of the plot against the backdrop of the most majestic building in the cinema. Consider the most interesting films in which our hero appears:

  1. Woody Allen's Manhattan.
  2. Hellboy by Guillermo del Toro.
  3. Monstro by Matt Reeves.
  4. Abyssal Impact by Mimi Leder.
  5. Godzilla by Roland Emmerich.
  6. "I Am Legend" by Francis Lawrence.
  7. Gossip Girl.
  8. "Kate and Leo" by James Mangold.

Today, the Brooklyn Bridge is not only the main transport route from Brooklyn to Manhattan, but also a place of meetings and loving hugs. Hundreds of lovers hang padlocks on it, and the keys are thrown into the river as a sign of endless love. Workers annually have to remove 5,000 locks in order not to exceed the permissible weight. He alth advocates have calculated that a two-way walk across the bridge burns 300 calories, while a run burns 650.

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