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Thread: George Washington Bridge

  1. #46
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    Thanks, Lofter!

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    A Bridge Goes Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

    By ELISSA GOOTMAN


    The George Washington Bridge with pink gels that were installed for
    Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The 156 necklace lights will be lit for
    the month of October.


    When Chris Bonanno’s sister was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, he was desperate to do something to help.

    Then he had an idea: Why not turn the lights adorning the George Washington Bridge, traversed by some 300,000 vehicles a day, pink?

    Mr. Bonanno, 50, is one of 10 electricians who work on the bridge, so he had a leg up.

    Still, it took some work: He spent months researching which types of coverings would work best and scouring the Internet for film studio equipment. He pored over books filled with sample lighting gels, or colored filters, then affixed lights covered with the final three candidates to the deck of his home in Dumont, N.J.

    “Which do you think is the pinkest?” he asked his three daughters, ages 13, 16 and 20, and their friends.

    When Mr. Bonanno raised the idea with his co-workers, he said, it started to seem as though everyone had some connection to the disease. A fellow worker, Keith Caldarulo, was particularly touched by the idea: His mother had been diagnosed. “They all know somebody that has gone through it,” Mr. Bonanno said.

    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the bridge, approved the idea over the summer. After much work on the part of Mr. Bonanno’s fellow electricians, the 156-light “necklace” of the George Washington Bridge glowed pink for the first time last night. It will continue to do so throughout October, in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    Mr. Bonanno has gone even further, painting his Port Authority hard hat – a symbol of macho if there was one – pink, and affixing a bow. “I guess it’s an icebreaker,” he said.


    Chris Bonanno, left, and Kenneth Soule put pink gels on the necklace lights
    of the George Washington Bridge. The electricians who maintain the lights
    all have friends and relatives who have had breast cancer.


    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20.../?ref=nyregion

  3. #48
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    Way Back Machine | Name That Bridge, 1931 Edition

    By JAY MAEDER

    Again with the hand-wringing over what to name a bridge. Edward I. Koch is having as much trouble getting a bridge for himself as George Washington did 80 years ago on the other side of the island. In George Washington’s case, there was actually a public referendum on whether to call the George Washington Bridge the George Washington Bridge. And George Washington actually lost.

    George had popped up entirely from out of the blue. Not once from the very conception of the world’s mightiest suspension span had anyone intended to call it the George Washington Bridge. Not once, not over the three decades it took for the pols of New York and New Jersey to decide to build the thing in the first place, not over the several more years that followed the September 1927 groundbreaking, as workers lustily bored and poured and hammered and riveted and strung up cables, was it ever known as anything but the Hudson River Bridge.

    And then suddenly, in January 1931, as the great construct neared completion, the Port of New York Authority announced that it was going to be called the George Washington Memorial Bridge instead.


    Well, what for? Much was the consternation. Loud was the cry and hue. Civic groups fussed. Newspaper editorialists muttered and rumbled. Not that anyone had anything in particular against George Washington, a perfectly fine fellow, Father of our Country, all that. The thing was, across the length and breadth of the land, George Washington had 25 bridges named after him already, one of them right here, crossing the Harlem River.

    Which, it was observed, you’d think would be plenty enough bridges for anyone.

    Swamped by tumult, the Port Authority voted to reconsider. Whereupon its chairman was illumed with democratic ideal: Let, he declared, the people decide.

    Ballot boxes accordingly went up en masse on both sides of the river, and all through January and February and March, tens of thousands of citizens cast their votes. The newspapers kept daily running tallies. George Washington was never anywhere close to the front of the pack (though he did fare well in petitions mailed directly to the Port Authority). Hudson River Bridge was always the huge popular favorite, Palisades Bridge trailing behind. There were vigorous boosters of Interstate Bridge and Knickerbocker Bridge. Veterans organizations were solidly behind Admiral Farragut Bridge. Write-ins measurably included Al Smith Bridge and Charles Lindbergh Bridge. Some Brooklyn guy named Levy mounted an earnest campaign for Levy Bridge, but this never got a lot of traction.

    Official motorcades start across
    the George Washington Bridge
    during the dedication ceremonies
    in New York City on Oct. 24, 1931.


    In April the election results went back to the Port Authority, which — being then, as now, an outfit not called upon to labor under the burden of much in the way of accountability — paid no attention to them at all and voted to go ahead with George Washington Bridge whether anybody liked it or not. Its bridge-naming committee, The New York Times reported, “declined to make public the nature of its decision.”

    And so the G.W.B. was formally dedicated a few months later, although most everyone continued to call it the Hudson River Bridge for years yet since that’s what they’d always called it anyway.

    Just as, it may be expected, the Queensboro will long remain the Queensboro to many New Yorkers regardless of what the City Council does or does not do in reference to the matter of the Mr. Koch. Bobby Kennedy was a fine fellow too, but who calls the R.F.K. the R.F.K.?

    Memo to Hon. Ed: Suggest consider legally changing your name to Edward I. Queensboro. Problem solved.

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...g-that-bridge/

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    Celebrating 81 Years of the George Washington Bridge

    by Jessica Dailey


    GW Bridge construction, around 1930. Photo via MCNY


    Opening day, October 25, 1931.


    1950

    more pics

    This day 81 years ago, the first cars zipped across the George Washington Bridge. When the suspension bridge opened on October 25, 1931, it was the longest in the world, until the Golden Gate snatched the title away in 1937. Designed by Othmar H. Ammann, the bridge originally had a single deck with six lanes of traffic, but as America's love of cars grew, so did the bridge. Two more lanes were added in 1946, and in 1959, construction began on the lower deck, which opened with six lanes of traffic in 1962. Today, the bridge holds the distinction of being the only 14-lane suspension bridge in the world. Apparently, it also is home to the world's largest free-flying flag. Who knew? If you're one of the 280,000 cars to traverse the bridge today, don't forget to wish it a happy birthday.

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/1...ton_bridge.php

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    Like the present version better.


    See The George Washington Bridge As Its Designers Intended





    Visuals by Max Touhey

    The world's busiest motor-vehicle span, it's difficult to believe that the George Washington Bridge is, in a manner of speaking, unfinished. Designed by American architect Cass Gilbert and Swiss-American structural engineer Othmar H. Ammann—who, as Port Authority's Chief Engineer, was also responsible for the designs of the Verrazano Narrows and the Bayonne bridges—the suspension bridge was originally envisioned with its steel beams covered in granite. That means the current metal towers were intended not as the finished product they are now, but an armature for, as Darl Rastofer writes in his 2010 book Six Bridges, "thousands of pieces of dimensional stone."





    Rastofer offers a deeper explanation for the stone-clad design in his chapter titled, oh-so-pithily, "A Thwarted Plan for Stonework":

    Ammann chose stone to strike a harmonious balance between the architecture of his structure and the natural grandeur of the site. On the New York shore, dramatic granite outcroppings carve their way from water's edge to high plateau. Ammann's towers were conceived as natural extensions of this rugged landscape. While formally related to the opposing cliffs, the stone towers promised to pose a perfect foil to the shiny steel of the cables and road deck hovering over the water.


    Original design proposal for the George Washington Bridge, showing it significantly larger
    (look at the tiny Brooklyn Bridge inset!) and complete with the ill-fated stone arches.

    Alas, although the bridge's governing board accepted the preliminary plans for those stone towers, design trends shifted away from revivalism and towards modernism, and the board eventually cancelled the stone due to reasons both stylistic and cost-saving.

    Indeed, construction was completed under budget and eight months ahead of schedule, in no small part thanks to the lack of stonework. The architects were at first displeased, but never publicly expressed their frustration, and when the bridge opened on October 25, 1931, it was embraced by the masses, even without the granite. Here's a good what-if: had Ammann and Gilbert realized the bridge was not destined to include stone coverings, the GWB would likely have a far more slender shape, not having needed to be large enough to support all that weight.

    —Hannah Frishberg

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/0...ended.php#more

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