The Facts - Our Research

October 14th, 2006 · No Comments


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Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges and connects Manhattan to Brooklyn over the East River. It took 13 years to build and cost $16 million, three times the original estimate, and opened May 24, 1883. The bridge is built from granite and limestone, and the architectural style is Gothic.

Augustus Roebling, a German engineer, designed the bridge. Shortly, after construction began in January 3, 1870, he died of tetanus after a serious foot injury caused by an accident. His son, Washington Roebling saw the bridge to the end.

To hear more about his story, please press 5.

Washington Roebling was injured and became an invalid. He was able to supervise the construction of this bridge with the help of his wife across the river in Brooklyn.

FACTS:
Maintained by New York City Department of Transportation
Design Suspension bridge
Longest span 1,595 feet 6 inches (486.3 m)
Total length 5,989 feet (1825 m)

Lower Eastside

The Lower East Side, in the 1890’s, was the most dense neighborhood in the city. Most newly arrived immigrants lived in tenements. Sometimes, families with 12 members would share one unit, uncomfortable crowded living conditions. Between 1863 and 1935, the six-story tenement building, at 97 Orchard Street, housed approximately 7,000 people. On average, there were more than 500 people per acre.

Union Square

Union Square was tied to the Labor movement, and hosted workers’ rallies and political protests. It opened in 1839 and was demolished in 1928 to make way for the subway. The most notable is an equestrian statue of George Washington created by Henry Kirke Brown, and unveiled in 1856. Some famous political rallies include the fall of Fort Sumter and 2004 Republican National Convention protest, Camp Casey, Critical Mass, the Lebanon bombings, and many memorials.

Union Square was originally named for the union of major thru-ways – Broadway, Lafayette, and Bowery Place. But it does have its place in politics. In April 1861, soon after the fall of Fort Sumter, Union Square was the site of a rally thought to have been the largest public gathering in North America up to that time. Now it is a gathering site for many political and social activists. Tammany Hall, a central site for the democratic party, was also located in Union Square.
A new key feature in Union Square is the Metronome by Kristin Jones/Andrew Ginzel.

In 1976, the Council on the Environment of New York City established the Greenmarket program, which provided regional small family farmers with opportunities to sell their fruits, vegetables and other farm products at open-air markets in the city. The Greenmarket sees 250,000 customers a week.

Union Square is noted for its impressive equestrian statue of George Washington, created by Henry Kirke Brown and unveiled in 1856. Other statues in the park include the Marquis de Lafayette, created by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi and Abraham Lincoln, created by Henry Kirke Browne. A newer addition, added in 1986, is a statue of Mahatma Gandhi by Kantilal B. Patelin the southwest corner of the park.

It is a site of social and political activism - examples: Critical mass, Vigils during 9/11

Union Sq is central to manhattan for social community, whereas times square is central for commerce and entertainment.

When the Commissioner’s Plan, the famous gridiron of Manhattan streets and avenues, was projected in 1807, the former potter’s field at this intersection was designated as Union Place. The site was authorized by the State Legislature as a public place in 1831 and acquired by the City of New York in 1833

1871 Parks Engineer in Chief M.A. Kellogg and Acting Landscape Gardener E.A. Pollard - widened the sidewalks, and created a muster ground and reviewing stand “to meet the public requirement of mass-meetings.”

Cooper Square

In 1859, Peter Cooper established Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. It offered the first free and non-religious education to working class men and women. The building structurally uses steel railroad beams. Today it offers full-tuition scholarships to programs in architecture, fine arts and engineering. Some alumni include Herb Lubalin, Eva Hesse, Milton Glaser, Daniel Libeskind, John Hejhuk and Chuck Hoberman. In 1860, its Great Hall has hosted Abraham Lincoln, who delivered his antislavery speech here.

Waldorf Astoria/Empire State Building

Two feuding cousins, William Waldorf Astor and John Jacob Astor owned two hotels. In 1893, William built the 13-story hotel was on Fifth Avenue and 34th Street overshadowing his aunt Caroline’s mansion. Her son, John Jacob Astor was going to tear down this mansion and build stables to stink up William’s opulent hotel. Instead, he built a larger hotel in 1897, and they functioned as one hotel. This hotel died during Prohibition, and was demolished in 1928 to make way for the Empire State Building, which was completed in 1931. It took 15 months to construct 102 stories. Since the fall of the Twin Towers, it is the city’s tallest building.

Battery Park

The first Dutch settlers arrived in Battery Park in 1623. By the 1800’s, it became an urban area. Castle Clinton was built as a ward off the British in the War of 1812. By the 19th century, this waterfront was extended by landfill. Today it is a public park overlooks the Hudson River and New Jersey.

Central Park West

Central Park West is an avenue and runs 51 blocks from Columbus Circle to Frederick Douglass Circle. The most notable residence includes John Lennon, who lived in the Dakota. The heart of Central Park West begins on 72nd Street and was the popular scene in 1913 because of boating and ice-skating.

Studio 54 - 254 West 54th Street, nyc

Studio 54 was the legendary disco located on 54th Street and 7th Avenue. It opened in April 1977 at what once used to be the Gallo Opera House, which changed to the New Yorker Theatre, the Casino de Paris, the Palladium Theater, and the Federal Music Theater. CBS purchased it in 1950 and renamed it Studio 52. It was the location where radio and TV shows were taped. Some popular shows were What’s My Line?, The $64,000 Question, Beat the Clock, The Jack Benny Show and Captain Kangaroo. In 1976, CBS sold this space to the disco record label West End Records, who renamed it Studio 54, after its address. Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager operated this club and hosted concerts by disco stars Gloria Gaynor and Sister Sledge. In 1998, it was acquired by The Roundabout Theater Company and renamed Studio 54 to The Roundabout Theater at Studio 54.

Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building was the tallest skyscraper in 1930. During its construction, the Bank of Manhattan was growing taller, until the last minute, when William Van Arlen, the architect, revealed the hidden 121 feet spire. It lived a short victory, because the Empire State Building became the tallest skyscraper the following year. On average, 4 floors were constructed every week. The Art Deco style was distinctive to Chrylser automobiles. For example, eagles were replicated as Chrysler hood ornaments, and some design motifs were inspired by the Chrysler radiators.

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