And while you're at it, what's the name of the building, that's across the street from the exit, on the left of the picture? If you know, that would be a big help. Thanks.
The Manhattan Bridge, an ugly duckling and probably the most poorly engineered large span in the city, has been replacing the lovely and venerable Brooklyn Bridge as New York City’s most iconic bridge in popular culture.
Have to disagree that it's an ugly duckling. I like its industrial elegance.
Is that true about poor engineering?
In Ads and Film, a Bridge Escapes the Background
By SAM ROBERTS
An advertisement for Fiat using the Manhattan Bridge.
Madison Avenue is trying to sell you a bridge. No, not that one.
In the iconography of New York, no bridge is more famous than the Brooklyn Bridge, but a largely overlooked stepsister structure over the East River has quietly been accumulating prestige. It may be hard to believe, but the Manhattan Bridge has become hip.
“The bridge clearly has a new agent,” the longtime advertising executive Jerry Della Femina said.
The century-old, 6,855-foot-long, Federal Blue bridge appears in advertisements for Honda, Fiat and Kia automobiles, is emblazoned on a women’s scarf designed by Izak Zenou for Henri Bendel, is featured in shoots for the clothier Massimo Dutti, dominates the main theatrical poster for the Tom Cruise film “Oblivion” and recently made the covers of several New York City guidebooks.
Its new cachet may have less to do with the borough after which it is named than with Brooklyn and the emergence of the fashionable Dumbo neighborhood (the acronym for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass), which has emerged from derelict warehouses on the Brooklyn waterfront.
The bridge itself was celebrated as a gateway to Brooklyn — a tribute affirmed by the giant colonnade and arch at the Manhattan entrance (incongruously topped by a frieze of a buffalo hunt, designed by an artist from Buffalo). The colonnade and arch are official New York City landmarks. The bridge itself, which connects Canal Street in Lower Manhattan with Flatbush Avenue Extension in Brooklyn, is not.
The Brooklyn Bridge was built first, followed by the Williamsburg. The cantilever Queensboro opened about nine months before the Manhattan in 1909, which evolved from various designs. From the start, it swayed precipitously, because subway tracks were installed on the outer lanes.
It was originally known blandly as Bridge No. 3 and was soon named for Manhattan, over the objections of the city’s bridge commissioner, who complained that Manhattan would not “signify anything” since “all of the bridges have their terminal in Manhattan.”
For much of its history, the structure has been eclipsed by the Brooklyn Bridge. While the Manhattan figured in a number of films, many featured its destruction as a result of earthquakes and attacks involving aliens, superheroes, monsters and large apes.
Now the appeal of the Manhattan Bridge is growing, perhaps because the Brooklyn Bridge is partly shrouded by a cover as it undergoes some work.
“The Manhattan Bridge, an ugly duckling and probably the most poorly engineered large span in the city, has been replacing the lovely and venerable Brooklyn Bridge as New York City’s most iconic bridge in popular culture,” Michael Miscione, the Manhattan borough historian, said.
“The hippest car, fashion and liquor ads and movie posters all feature the Manhattan Bridge — something unthinkable 10 or 15 years ago, before the trendsetters settled in Dumbo in force,” Mr. Miscione said. “I began to take notice of this trend about five or six years ago, and the phenomenon has only picked up steam since then.”
The bridge has reaped the rewards from Dumbo’s transformation from a “no man’s land” to “the chicest spot in Brooklyn,” said Mr. Zenou, the fashion designer, who lives in Lower Manhattan. He said the bridge was emblematic of Dumbo and other neighborhoods “where all young hipster New Yorkers move.”
“It brings a very industrial feel,” he added, “a kind of strength and oversized dimension.” The silk scarf inspired by the bridge, which sells for $129, was designed, Mr. Zenou said, “to bring that feeling of a downtown kind of girl, as opposed to the Upper East or Upper West Side princess.”
A spokeswoman for the Massimo Dutti team that photographed an ad from the Brooklyn side of the bridge said: “We were aiming to create a New York City universe through one of its most iconic landmarks.”
The Honda commercial, said Carlos Figueiredo, executive creative director at Publicis Kaplan Thaler, an ad agency, was part of the “Street Smart” campaign for the Tri Honda Dealer Advertising Association, a group of dealers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. In an ad titled “Awe,” the views are from Brooklyn and reflect, he said, “an authentic backdrop for those who live and drive here.”
“We made a conscious decision to include the actual cobblestones, bridges and suburban streets locals travel on, and the places they go,” he said.
Arabella Bowen, executive editorial director of Fodor’s, the travel guides, one of which features the Manhattan Bridge on the cover, said that with the opening of the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn last summer and the “ proliferation of some of the best eats in the city, we’ve made a big push this year toward putting Brooklyn on travelers’ radars.
In the film “Oblivion,” which was released this year with the tagline “Earth Is a Memory Worth Fighting For,” Mr. Cruise is pictured on an off-kilter version of the bridge, its suspension cables dangling.
Joseph Kosinksi, who directed the film, said he was impressed with the open, X-shape lattice steel work, even if the bridge might not be immediately recognizable. “There’s a familiarity and clearly it’s from the 20th century,” he said, “but I don’t know if people recognize it off the bat as New York.”
James Sanders, who in his book “Celluloid Skyline” explored the use of New York locales in popular culture, said he had once suggested that the Chrysler Building receive an award for Best Supporting Skyscraper.
“The Manhattan Bridge is somewhat like that,” he said, “always seen discreetly in the background in all those swooping helicopter shots of the Brooklyn Bridge, like a secondary performer being careful not to upstage the star. It’s not a terrible-looking bridge in itself — and of course with its 1,500-foot central suspension span it is an immensely impressive engineering structure in its own right — but has always been overshadowed, almost literally, by its far more famous, more historic, and more poetically designed neighbor.”
The Manhattan Bridge seems to be achieving its moment, Mr. Sanders said, “benefiting from the film and fashion world’s constant demand for novelty.”
With the Brooklyn Bridge potentially suffering from overexposure, “at this point we’re looking for other symbols of the city,” Mr. Kosinski said, adding that maybe next “we turn to the Queensboro.” Where that demand will end is anybody’s guess. “The truly ugly Williamsburg Bridge next?” Mr. Miscione asked in mock horror.
Luckily, Mr. Sanders said, “New York has a dozen or more great bridges up its sleeve when filmmakers and art directors eventually get bored with the Manhattan Bridge, though by the time they get to the Outerbridge Crossing we might want to call it a day.”
From the American Society of Civil Engineers:The third design for the Manhattan Bridge—the one eventually approved and constructed—was the first to use Josef Melan's deflection theory for the stiffening of the deck
Moisseiff's pioneering use of the deflection theory (as opposed to the more conservative elastic theory) resulted in a much lighter and shallower stiffening truss, reducing the amount of materials that were required in construction. As the first suspension bridge to use the deflection theory, it is considered to be the forerunner of modern suspension bridges and served as the model for the major long-span suspension bridges built in the first half of the twentieth century. The Manhattan Bridge contains four parallel stiffening trusses, each below a main cable, and was the first suspension bridge to utilize a Warren truss in its design.The Manhattan Bridge pioneered the use "two-dimensional" slender steel towers, which are 322 feet (98 m) high, and was the earliest bridge to incorporate nickel steel to a large extent in construction. Unlike the Williamsburg Bridge, which had four columns in each of its steel towers, the towers of the Manhattan Bridge were only braced in two directions. This allowed the towers to flex, reducing bending moments and requiring smaller foundations under the towers. A total of 42,000 tons (38,000 t) of nickel steel (which is lighter and stronger than carbon steel) was used in the bridge's superstructure.Essentially planned in the horse and buggy era, the Manhattan Bridge originally carried eight railway tracks—four streetcar tracks and four rapid transit tracks. The rapid transit tracks were first intended for elevated trains, but instead they were used by heavier subway trains. The placement of the subway tracks on the outer part of the bridge caused severe torsional stresses, requiring the need for an extensive rehabilitation in the end of the twentieth century. Today, the Manhattan Bridge carries a third of a million passengers in nearly 1,000 subway trains each day, making it the busiest public transit crossing into Manhattan.
The Manhattan Bridge is spectacular. Fits its namesake very well, everything about it is "Gotham"
The more likely reason that the Manhattan Bridge is being used for ads, etc. these days is because much of the Brooklyn Bridge is wrapped in an ugly construction enclosure. It has been for a while and will be for the foreseeable future. Not so picturesque:
Whats with the constant work on the Manhattan Bridge?
Well, they're up to Contract 14.
Among other things:
Removal of existing wire wrapping and "red lead paste"on main cables.
Repair of cable wires and re-wrapping with new wire.
Replacement of all suspender ropes. They are almost 60 years old.
New necklace lights. Hope they're LED.
Weren't the suspender ropes replaced in the 80s?
That was the Brooklyn Bridge. In 1981 a tourist was killed on the walkway when a diagonal rope snapped.
I think that's what led to the inspections and all the rehab contracts.
And the lawsuit brought by the wife of the photographer who was killed dragged on ... here's an article from 1984, three years after the incident (and then silence, with nothing found anywhere online showing that the case ever had its day in court, or was resolved or settled -- nothing) ...
A BRIDGE CABLE'S FATAL SNAP LEADS TO YEARS OF LITIGATION
... Up to now, the city has conceded little more than that the Brooklyn Bridge spans the East River. And not surprisingly, the 11 private companies also named as defendants in the case have been no more forthcoming. There is little reason for them to be, given the likely timetable for the litigation.
Only after all depositions in the case have been taken - a process not yet under way, and expected to take at least a year - can the case be placed on the trial calendar. With the backlog in Manhattan now running up to 18 months, it may not get to trial until 1987. In all probability, Aimi v. New York et al. will take longer to resolve than the bridge's imposing towers took to build ...