Queens

Queensboro Bridge with Elevated Train, 1920

Queensboro Bridge with Elevated Train, 1920

Looking East from East 59th Street and Second Avenue across the Queensboro Bridge on this day in 1920, one sees an Elevated Train car, a few trucks and motor cars, and a few pedestrians.  This cantilever bridge opened in March 1909, and approximately 11 years into its existence, seems very much underutilized.  Not so, today. Today there is no time of day or night when significantly more than half a dozen vehicles will be found crossing its spans. 

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Queensboro Bridge Construction Seen from Ravenswood, late 1907

Queensboro Bridge Construction Seen from Ravenswood, late 1907

Ravenswood, Queens, started as a tony hamlet in the middle of the 19th Century, but by the time of this photograph it had been absorbed into Long Island City. In this photograph, looking west, one can see the ongoing construction of the Queensboro Bridge. It looks as if the Blackwell's Island span was complete and what remains is to connect to the spans on Manhattan and Long Island. The bridge, originally named the Blackwell's Island Bridge, would open to the public on June 12, 1909, not too long after this photo was taken.

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Horace Ashton, Photographing the Construction of the Queensboro Bridge, 1907

Horace Ashton, Photographing the Construction of the Queensboro Bridge, 1907

In this black and white photograph, taken in 1907, an unknown photographer has captured the intrepid Horace Ashton, sitting on a girder above the East River, capturing the view from his own unique perspective. At this time, Ashton was probably working for the Underwood & Underwood studio.

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Queensboro Bridge from Second Avenue, 1914

Queensboro Bridge from Second Avenue, 1914

Pedestrians and some horse-drawn vehicles can be seen crossing the 59th Street Bridge from Second Avenue in Manhattan. The pedestrians seem to outnumber the vehicular traffic, although both are light by today's standards. The buildings to the south of the bridge are painted with a variety of advertisements, including for Coca-Cola, Wallach's Superior Laundry, Omega Oil for Sore Muscles, Puffed Rice, and Castoria.

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Workman Erecting Steel on the Queensboro Bridge, 1907

Workman Erecting Steel on the Queensboro Bridge, 1907

A workman on the Queensboro Bridge plies his trade high above the East River in 1907. The view is northwest from Blackwell's Island, which was later renamed Roosevelt Island, toward Manhattan. In the background, on Manhattan Island, are the warehouses of the American Malting Company, which was forced to reorganize in 1906 as the American Malting Corporation.

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Queensboro Bridge Under Construction, 1907

Queensboro Bridge Under Construction, 1907

Looking east from Manhattan toward Blackwell's Island on March 8, 1907, you would have seen the partially completed Queensboro Bridge. Originally called the Blackwell's Island Bridge, the Queensboro was completed and opened to the public in 1909, about two years after this photo was taken. At the time it opened, it was the longest cantilever bridge in North America.

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