BROOKLYN BRIDGE WALK INTO THE NEW YEAR

"This is the best walk across the Brooklyn Bridge I have enjoyed."
-- Baroness Cecile van der Elst, great-granddaughter of John August Roebling, the creator and first chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge

Download the brochure

NYC's best tour guides will lead you around the City Hall area and the Brooklyn Bridge to learn little known facts about the 19th century's greatest technical marvel.

Free prizes -- tee-shirts, postcards and other gifts included that show up whether you prepay by credit card online or pay cash on the spot.

Party and play on the Brooklyn Bridge. Enjoy free refreshments for the early birds! snacks and a warm drink -- coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

If history repeats itself, fireworks will be visible from Central Park, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and New Jersey as well as the Empire State Building light show.

Registration for the walk begins at 9:45PM. $50.00 cash; $40.00 credit card online.

Multiple walks will be launched between 10:15PM and 11:15PM.

Meeting Place:

Outside McDonald's Restaurant, 160 Broadway between Liberty and Courtlandt Streets, New York City

Subways:

Because of hurricane Sandy, some of the subway locations are closed; Fulton Street subway station opened.

Here are new mass transit directions:

If the MTA doesn't have the South Ferry station cleared by New Year's, you'll have to take Cortlandt Street out of the mix.

Wall Street for the 2, 3, 4, 5 leaves people a little closer and at a less confusing station.

Change at Brooklyn Bridge from the 6 to the 4,5.

J to Broad Street, but if it's a weekend schedule they'll have to change at Brooklyn Bridge to the 4, 5.

1 train to Rector Street -- or change at Chambers for 2, 3.

The M5 bus goes right down Broadway.

The M20 cuts through Battery Park City; you'd have to get off before it turns west on Chambers.

You should check the mta.info site for up-to-date mass transit information.

To book the tour, go to goto our December calendar and scroll down to December 31st, or call (888) 377-4455.

  Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge


Click here for a high resolution version of this picture of Dr. Phil (center) and an associate (right).


Builders of the Brooklyn Bridge

John Augustus Roebling designed the bridge and was the first chief engineer. He invented iron and later steel cable that made elevators and cable cars safe as well helping to build stronger bridges.  

Washington Augustus Roebling succeeded his father as the chief engineer of the bridge. This Civil War veteran solved difficult engineering problems to minimize the loss of life in the construction but came down with "Bends" or "Caisson's Disease".  

Emily Warren Roebling was the undersung heroine of the bridge. She took over the day-to-day supervision of construction. She became the world's first woman engineer. She apparently learned engineering from her husband, Washington, and brother.  


Other Notable People

Frank Farrington was the chief mechanic of the bridge. He Demonstrated how safe working conditions were by going across the river by means of a chair pulled by cable.  

Robert E. Odlum, a swimming teacher, made the first leap off the bridge a few months after the bridge opened. He died of internal injuries from hitting the water.  

Steve Brodie, a New York saloon keeper, claimed to have survived the 135' daredevil leap on July 23, 1886 into the East River and indeed was picked up in the water alive, going on to immortality and a profitable Bowery saloon business. But no disinterested witness ever saw Brodie jump and he probably never did.  


Time Line

  • Early 1600s Brooklyn Ferry started operating
  • 1802 Petition to the New York State legislature proposed construction of a bridge
  • 1852 John Augustus Roebling's ferry got stuck in the frozen East River and is the first engineer to propose a bridge
  • 1867 John August Roebling, appointed chief engineer by the New York Bridge Company, draws up plans for the bridge
  • 1869 Federal Government approved construction of the bridge
  • 1869 Washington August Roebling succeeded his father as chief engineer when he dies in an accident
  • 1870 Construction began
  • 1871 Brooklyn caisson hit bedrock at 44'-6"
  • 1872 Washington Roebling halted descent of the New York caisson at 78'-6", 30' short of bed rock
  • 1873 Emily Warren Roebling took on active role to supervise the construction of the bridge and deal with the press and the politicians
  • 1875 Brooklyn tower completed
  • 1876 New York tower completed at 276'-6", the tallest structure in New York City
  • 1877 Temporary footbridge between towers built
  • 1878 Cable spinning completed
  • 1881 Understructure for bridge floor completed
  • April 1883 Promenade and truss work completed
  • May 24, 1883 Brooklyn Bridge is formally opened and dedicated
  • September 1883 Elevated line starts operating
  • Columbus Day 1893 A record number of 250,000 people cross the bridge in honor of the 400th anniversary of the Columbus's "discovery of America"
  • 1911 Brooklyn Bridge became toll-free
  • 1915 New York and Brooklyn Bridge officially renamed the Brooklyn Bridge
  • 1942 Brooklyn ferry went out of business
  • 1944 Elevated railroad service terminated
  • 1952 All six lanes converted to automobile traffic by engineer David Steinman
  • 1995 Dr. Philip E. Schoenberg begins his first Brooklyn Bridge Walk into the New Year


Facts from Steve Anderson's Crossings of New York:

  • Type of bridge: Suspension
  • Construction started: January 3, 1870
  • Opened to traffic: May 24, 1883
  • Length of main span: 1,595'-6"
  • Length of side spans: 930'
  • Length, anchorage to anchorage: 3,455'-6"
  • Total length of bridge and approaches: 6,016'
  • Width of bridge: 85'
  • Number of traffic lanes: 6 lanes
  • Number of suspension cables: 4 cables
  • Height of towers above mean high water: 276'-6"
  • Clearance at center above mean high water: 135'
  • Length of each of four cables: 3,578'-6"
  • Diameter of each cable: 15-"
  • Number of wires in each cable: 5,434 wires
  • Total length of wires: 14,060 miles
  • Total masonry in towers: 85,159 cubic yards
  • Weight of suspended structure: 6,620 tons
  • Total weight of bridge: 14,680 tons
  • Cost of original structure: $15,100,000
  • Foundation depth below high water, Brooklyn: 44'-6"
  • Foundation depth below high water, Manhattan: 78'-6"
  • Total weight, not including masonry: 14,680 tons


Philip E. Schoenberg, Ph.D. a professional speaker and a licensed New York City Tour Guide, is a leading expert on the Big Apple. He has a special skill in entertaining and informing people about the Big Apple from its real life stories and folk tales.

Dr. Schoenberg received his Ph.D. in history from New York University. He has taught classes on New York City history and organized field trips and walking tours for City University of New York colleges, St. Francis College, New York University, Fordham University, New York City public schools, the Association of Teachers of Social Studies, and the Queens Historical Society.

The New York City Experts
Our company offers talks and walks, to entertain and educate people about New York City and its five boroughs. We have expanded from offering one public tour in 1995 to over 100 different ones today. We offer walking tours, bus tours, excursions. Slide-lectures, and other media presentations. These programs may be customized to suit the needs of your family, group, association or special occasion. Our company provides leading speakers, licensed guides and experts on the Big Apple who have special skills for making each every talk and walk unique and memorable for every group whether it is for kindergartners or goldenagers.

Tips for your tour guide are always appreciated.

Contact Dr. Schoenberg For a Tour at
(646) 493-7092
Email: drphil@nycwalks.com
65-45 Parsons Blvd., Apt. 4L
Flushing, NY 11365
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