City Secrets

Brooklyn Bridge: Story And Secrets Behind This Massive Landmark

July 13 2017 | BTSNYC
Curiosities City Secrets Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge has an amazing story and secrets worth telling! The secrets behind this massive NY landmark are very interesting and some, even a bit hilarious!

Curiosities City Secrets Brooklyn Bridge

This is probably one of the three top touristy spots in New York City! We know…not “behind the scenes” at all but, then again, some attractions are just impossible to ignore.

We are completely in love with this Bridge! When we commute into Manhattan through the Q Line in the morning, that goes over the Manhattan Bridge, it’s usually the highlight of the trip! We are able to see the entire Brooklny Bridge and Manhattan’s skyline. Plus, at the very back, the State of liberty.

Yes! A perfect way to start the morning and to remember “Why” we once decided to live here! It just feels…perfect.

Any way, lets getting back on track! Lets talk about the story and secrets behind this massive landmark in New York.

The Brooklyn Bridge was opened to the public on May 24, 1883 and connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, passing over the East River. Back then, it was a separate city from New York, and only in 1898 it was formally merged and New York City started growing into the different Boroughs.

It’s hard to even guess how many years to took, back in the late 1800’s to build it right? Well, it was a total of 14 years.

Over 600 workers were hired to be part of this massive construction and it costed a total of $15 million. Today, if we convert this cost to, it adds up to $320 million (other sources, say that this conversion skyrockets to $3.5 billion)! Regardless, it’s a lot of money!

The architects responsible for this landmark are John A. Roebling, his son, Washington Roebling, David B. Steinman.

John A. Roebling was a pioneer and a fantastic German engineer specialized in suspension bridges back in those days.

Unfortunately, Roebling had a fatal work injury and died of tetanus. His son, Washington Roebling, took over the project.

The entire process was quite challenging for the time. Specially regarding the air tubes that took workers deep under water. When then resurfaced (probably too quickly), their bodies had severe pains, many irreparable damages and sometimes, even death. Washington himself had a lifetime parcial paralysis due to this process.

Today, it’s calculated that more than 120,000 vehicles, 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 bicyclists cross the Brooklyn Bridge every single day.

Here are also a few secrets facts of the Brooklyn Bridge:

1. In 2006, a Fallout Shelter was discovered inside the masonry of the bridge, most likely created during the Cold War. They found an infinite number of paper blankets, water drums, lots of medical supplies and even canned food.

2. John A. Roebling make a conceptualization of a shopping arcade. It never came to life, but became a storage for several years and, in the beginning of the 2000’s, it was closed down due to security reasons.

3. To help counteract the costs of the bridge, a wine celler was created inside the bridge and was rented out to store products at a stable temperature.

4. This is actually a bit funny. George C. Parker is know of having “sold” the bridge many times to different new prospect owners. He did a huge load of money out of this hoax and was eventually sent to jail for life. It’s said that he even negotiated and sold the Statue of Liberty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET). Ha!

5. The was a terrible and fatal day where a few dozen people died due to a bluff that the bridge was going to collapse. This was only 6 days after it’s opening – a disaster, for sure. Due to this, a while later, it is know that the showman P.T. Barnum organized the crossover of 21 elephants, to secure the population that the bridge was safe. This was, in essence, to promote the coming of his new circus. Smart guy.


In addition, after crossing the bridge, you can take some time and explore the area close by!

So, you can start by simply heading down below the bridge to the  Brooklyn Bridge Park. There are great food vendors, a stunning skyline view of Manhattan, Jane’s Carousel is for all ages, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is a great pitstop.

As we said, yes, it is quite touristy. But, nonetheless, it’s definitely worth checking off your list! We still love crossing it sometimes, despite the touristy mess.

If you want to cross, but you’re interested in booking a guide telling you more in depth details of the se stories above, or even, if you want to cross biking, contact our experts to arrange it for you. It’s also a great activity to do with Corporate groups.

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