Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Cultural SitePedestrian FriendlyHistorical FeatureLandmark

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This extraordinarily beautiful steel-wire suspension bridge was designed by John A. Roebling, an engineer of genius who emigrated from Prussia in 1831. It is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the US and when it was completed in 1883, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The actual construction was done by thousands of laboroers, most of them poor Irish immigrants - many of whom died from the bends: nitrogen poisoning developed in the caissons required to set the deep foundations on the Manhattan and Brooklyn ends of the span.

When the bridge was to open in 1883, the Irish protested the date chosen. It was Victoria Day (May 24), birthday of the British monarch. Their threatened boycott didn't materialize. In fact, numerous Irish societies provided fireworks for the gala celebration.

The historic research contained in this Open Green Map is from the book: "Six Heritage Tours of the Lower East Side" by Ruth Limmer, in collaboration with NYC's Lower East Side Tenement Museum.

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