Get pumped sassy cats! It's Friday-eve, and we have 5,989 feet to cover. I'm a believer in signs from the Universe, so when the Brooklyn Bridge came up in two separate conversations this week I knew it would be the perfect topic for a"Googled" series comeback.
I personally walked the Bridge on a brisk afternoon this past November and loved every minute of the experience. It's a bit of a hike, but the views and time with my own thoughts were the perfect way to spend a New York minute. (Or hour. Times two.) I'm the kind of person who would rather explore a city on foot than be cooped up in a museum. Which is surprising for a girl who majored in history! And since I'm always getting lost, I really enjoyed walking between the boroughs and (finally) connecting some of the dots.
Moral of the story is, I highly recommend walking across the Brooklyn Bridge at least once in your life. Because, why not?! And when you finally do, here are 9 fun facts to enjoy on your journey:
- Due to a series of unfortunate events, the construction of the bridge was overseen by three different members of the Roebling family:
- John Augustus Roebling was the original architect and designer of the bridge, but died before completion after sustaining injuries on another project.
- Washington Augustus Roebling was John's son, and also had terrible luck. He was one of the individuals to suffer from the bends and was confined to bed shortly after taking over the project.
- Emily Warren Roebling was Washington's wife and stepped in ad chief engineer after her husband fell ill. She is recognized for not only becoming the driving force behind the Bridge's completion, but also a pioneer for female engineers. (#bossbabe #girlpower)
- Over the course of its life, the bridge has had four names:
- New York and Brooklyn Bridge (the creativity here is just awe inspiring...)
- Great East River Suspension Bridge
- Great East River Bridge (good try, but still a mouth full)
- and thanks to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for referring to the structure as the Brooklyn Bridge...officially to be changed in 1915.
- A ROOSTER made the first trip across the Bridge. Or was technically tied for first as it rode in Emily's lap during her inaugural carriage ride across its entire length. (It was a symbol of good luck!)
- Not only was the Brooklyn Bridge the world's first wire-suspension bridge, but it also held the superlative as the longest for 20 years!
- Decompression sickness - or the "bends" - was discovered during construction of the Bridge. Hundreds of workers were crippled from the illness (including Washington!) and at least five died.
- At first, people were nervous to cross the Brooklyn Bridge fearing the safety and strength of the structure. The answer to calm those fears? March twenty-one of P.T. Barnum's elephants across, of course!
- Need a glass of wine for the walk? The Brooklyn Bridge has a cellar for that! Engineers built vaults (up to 50 feet tall!) into the bridge beneath its anchorages. The cool temperatures of these granite walls make perfect cellars, and they were rented out to the public until World War I.
- Nobody can figure out exactly what color the Bridge was.
- The Brooklyn Bridge stands where George Washington slept! The Manhattan anchorage features a bronze plaque commemorating the land below as the former location of the country's first presidential mansion. Known as the Samuel Osgood House or the Walter Franklin House, the Lower Manhattan mansion served as the home of Washington during his first ten months as American's Commander-in-Chief.