Have you ever seen anything more stunning than this bridge?
Completed in 1883, not only is it beautiful, but its story is almost stranger than fiction.
Ken Burns tells the story very well, of course.
The Brooklyn Bridge was designed by a fellow named John Roebling. When JR was surveying the construction site, his foot was crushed in an accident involving a ferry and a piling. His toes were amputated, but he died from infections. His son Washington Roebling then took on the project.
WR then was incapacitated after he suffered “the bends” or decompression sickness. (Sadly, 27 people were killed during the construction of the bridge.) As WR watched the bridge’s construction from his bedside window, his wife Emily Roebling took on the day-to-day communications between her husband and the engineers and workers on-site.
She was 27 years old.
There is a plaque on the bridge in her honor.
Emily worked with her husband for 13 years as the Brooklyn Bridge was built. She was the first person to cross the bridge during its opening ceremony. WR was not able to attend the celebrations on-site, but they later had a party at their home.
I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge recently. There is construction going on, but it’s as lovely as ever.
It is simply amazing to walk the span and ponder its history.
It was known as “The Spider Web”. Here is a 1906 postcard:
And here is a photograph from 1914 by Eugene de Salignac – workmen on the cables:
From any angle, this marvel is spectacular!
I love the way it just glows in the sunlight.
I have never walked the bridge at night. But I will.
I’ll end with this lovely painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, from 1948: