The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for June 3rd, 2009

Queensboro Bridge

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Queensboro HDR, originally uploaded by Mitch Waxman.

May 31st- Late in the day, after the Queensboro Bridge Centennial Parade was winding down- I found myself virtually alone on the Queensboro BridgeTramway park in Manhattan had free donuts and the Queens side was empty.

The last ferry ran from Greenpoint, Brooklyn to Manhattan in 1933 and the Queensboro Bridge was responsible for the end of regular service. When Adriaen Block (a Dutch navigator who charted parts of New York Harbor and Long Island Sound in the 1600’s) charted the East River, He called it “the River of Sound”. Gustav Lindenthal designed the enormous “geared” structure which opened in 1909. 

Its Queens tower is in Ravenswood south of Queens Plaza where its vehicular traffic disgorges. In Manhattan, its locus is 59th street and 2nd avenue. There is also a tower footing on Roosevelt Island, formerly known as Blackwell’s Island.

Home to the insane asylum’s of Nellie Bly’s time, there was once a vehicle elevator that carried trucks and workers down to serve the island’s “hospitals”. Queensboro was referred to as the Blackwell’s Island Bridge for much of its construction.

There is a pedestrian walkway on the lower level that offers spectacular views of Roosevelt Island, Manhattan, and western Queens to the intrepid antiquarian. Watch out for speeding bicycles.

Queensboro sits on the western leg of the Newtown Pentacle, nearly equidistant between Pot’s Cove and Hunter’s Point.

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 3, 2009 at 7:44 pm

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