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Monday, July 21, 2014

THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE - A BRIEF HISTORY

The Brooklyn Bridge was built between 1869 and 1883 connecting Manhattan with New York's most populous borough, Brooklyn. The bridge is one of the most famous and magnificent landmarks in New York City.
At the time of the construction, Brooklyn - founded by Dutch settlers in the 17th century - was still an independent city. In fact it was even one of the country's largest cities. In 1898, fifteen years after the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn citizens decided, in a close vote, to become a borough of New York.
The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge started in 1869 and took fourteen years to complete. At the time many saw the construction of such a large bridge as a folly. The driving force behind the whole project, John Roebling, was a German immigrant who had worked for the Prussian government as a bridge and road builder. He launched the idea of building a bridge across the East River after he had taken a ferry across the river that got stuck in the ice.
John Roebling would never get to see the bridge he had designed: he died in an accident. He wasn't the only one to lose his life during the construction: 20 of the 600 workers died while working on the bridge. The son of John Roebling, Washington Roebling, took over the leadership of the project but he suffered from a  serious disease and was on his deathbed during the inauguration on May 24, 1883 when about 150,000 people crossed the bridge. 
The Brooklyn Bridge ranks as one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century and remains one of New York's most popular and well known landmarks. The impressive bridge spans the East river between Brooklyn and Manhattan and stretches for a length of 5989 ft, about 1.8 km. The span between the large towers measures 1595.5 ft (486 meters). This made the Brooklyn Bridge the world's largest suspension bridge.
The most noticeable feature of the Brooklyn Bridge are the two masonry towers to which the many cables are attached. The towers with large Gothic arches reach a height of 276 ft (84 meters), at the time making them some of the tallest landmarks in New York. Roebling claimed that the monumental towers would make the bridge a historic monument. He was proven right when the bridge officially became a national monument in 1964.The views of the bridge attract millions of visitors to this bridge each year.
                      Adapted from www.aviewoncities.com
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