May 23, 2008
Happy Birthday, Brooklyn Bridge!
The Brooklyn Bridge is 125! Older than all of our presidential candidates. The bridge cost 15.1 million dollars to build in the 1870s and 80s, which would be about $320 million in today's money. When the bridge first opened, pedestrians had to pay a penny to walk across (NYT, PDF). Here's the Times (PDF) piece on the opening ceremony, which totally disses the festivities saying:
The impressiveness of the pageant with which the bridge was opened lay in the appeal which it made to the imagination and in the numbers and behavior of the crowd. It certainly was not inherent in the pageant itself, which, as a spectacle was from from successful and differed little in its outward aspects from the ordinary Fourth of July "exercises."You can celebrate with a bunch of fun events all weekend, including a screening of It Happened in Brooklyn, where Frank Sinatra relentlessly (and musically!) mocks Brooklyn. There's a great, brief, history of the bridge, written for the 100th anniversary, available from the Brooklyn Museum (PDF). Please go out and enjoy the bridge, and remember, it's not just for hipster T-shirts.
TrackBack URL for this entry: