Fri, 7 March 2014
The George Washington Bridge is surprisingly graceful, but politically scandalous. And we're not talking about the current crisis being faced by current New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
Figuring out a way to cross over the Hudson River (not using a boat or ferry) between New York City and New Jersey has been a challenge engineers and builders have tried to solve for over two hundred years. With the formation of the Port Authority in 1921, there was finally an administrative body with the ability to bring a Hudson River bridge to life.
At the core of this story is a professional disagreement (or betrayal, depending on how you see it) between Gustav Lindenthal, the dreamer of a monumental crossing twice the size of the Brooklyn Bridge, and his protégée Othmar Ammann, who envisioned a simpler crossing in a less populated part of town.
The eventual bridge was built thanks to a few strategic, political moves by the New Jersey governor, but some of its original ornamentation was left off during the Great Depression. Still, even today, it's considered one of the most beautiful bridges of the Hudson River. Here's the story of an under-appreciated masterpiece that two states are proud to share.
ALSO: The story of the little red lighthouse and the great big flag!