New work unveiling!
Here’s “Brooklyn Bridge, NYC”! It’s part of my growing Iconic USA collection which includes paintings and multi-media pieces I’ve created celebrating some of my favorite examples of historic American architecture.
This new piece is pen & watercolor on paper, 9 x 11.” The original painting is available for sale and I will soon make prints and art gifts available on my website.
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most recognizable marvels of American engineering and it’s an iconic sight for those in New York City. The bridge (opened in 1883) spans the distance between Manhattan and Brooklyn over the East River. The bridge’s suspension towers were built in the Gothic Revival style. They’re 278 feet tall and built from granite, limestone and cement.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m in the city is cross the Brooklyn Bridge on foot. The pedestrian walkway is elevated above vehicular traffic and the views are brilliant. It can take about 25-30 minutes if you’re a commuter rushing across the bridge to work… but if you’re someone who always marvels at the views of New York City, it takes about an hour to make the crossing. The length of the bridge is about 1.3 miles! Pretty impressive — especially when you consider that work on the bridge began before the lightbulb was even invented.
The designer of the bridge
The creator of Brooklyn’s Bridge was John Augustus Roebling, a renowned pioneer in the design of steel suspension bridges. Born in Germany in 1806, he studied industrial engineering in Berlin and immigrated to western Pennsylvania at the age of 25, where he attempted, unsuccessfully, to make his living as a farmer. After moving to the state capital in Harrisburg, he found work as a civil engineer. He promoted the use of wire cable and established a successful wire-cable factory.
He earned a reputation as a designer of suspension bridges, which at the time were widely used but known to fail under heavy loads or strong winds. Roebling resolved these problems by combining structural elements from previous bridge designs—including stiffening trusses and cable arrays. Roebling successfully bridged the Niagara Gorge at Niagara Falls, New York, and the Ohio River in Cincinnati, Ohio using this model.
The opening of the bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge opened on May 24, 1883. Thousands of residents of Brooklyn and Manhattan Island turned out for the dedication ceremony, which was presided over by President Chester A. Arthur and New York Governor Grover Cleveland. Within 24 hours, more than 150,000 people walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, using a broad promenade above the roadway that John Roebling designed for the enjoyment of pedestrians. With its two stately towers and unprecedented length, the Brooklyn Bridge was named the “eighth wonder of the world.”
Built by hand (and blood, sweat and tears), the bridge is a symbol of American ingenuity and tenacity. I am so inspired every time I see it and I just had to paint it. It’s the perfect new addition to my Iconic USA collection!
Ciao for now,