The architectural marvel that connects lower Manhattan with Brooklyn over the East River celebrates its 129th birthday today, and Brooklyn can take special pleasure knowing that the Grand Opening of the bridge was “decidedly Brooklyn’s celebration,” as written in a New York Times original article from 1883.
It is estimated that over 50,000 people came in by the railroads alone, and swarms by the sound boats and by the ferry-boats helped to swell the crowds in both cities.
The opening of the bridge was decidedly Brooklyn’s celebration. New-York’s participation in it was meager, save as to the crowd which thronged her streets.
Yes, hipsters, you can relish in the knowledge that the stiff suits in Manhattan weren’t necessarily breaking their backs to make it to a grand opening attended by President Chester A. Arthur (One of America’s most memorable leaders…). The day of celebration belonged to BK.
An interesting note about the bridge’s construction are the birthplace of the materials with which she was built. Steel used to build new bridge decks in recent times have been imported from China, as opposed to the American-made foundation of the Brooklyn Bridge. Perhaps recognizing the American ingenuity and engineering prowess responsible for erecting such a structure can refuel the discussion of American construction and manufacturing in today’s world.
Picture courtesy of Creative_Loafing