New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sin of Omission

I'm always looking for nooks and crannies, but like Italian hill towns, finding hidden gems in a densely populated and/or heavily visited place is extremely difficult. Most often, the hidden or undiscovered in NYC is remote, literally at the ends and edges of the boroughs, far from where any resident or visitor would typically go.
This is the case with the Ward's Island Bridge which spans the Harlem River between East 103rd Street in Manhattan and Ward's Island, giving access to Ward's Island Park with wonderful views, biking paths and athletic facilities (the island is also home to a psychiatric center, homeless shelter and a wastewater treatment plant). Read more about the island here.
The bridge is unique - it is the only bridge in NYC, spanning a major river, which is open to pedestrians only (bicycles are also permitted). Only 12 feet wide, it is a lift bridge - the center section (100m) lifts to accommodate tall ships. A wooden drawbridge spanning the river was built in 1807 by Bartholomew Ward to aid his cotton business on the island. It was destroyed by a storm in 1821. Ward's Island Bridge was built in 1951 and designed by Othmar Hermann Ammann. The bridge is closed during the winter months (November through March) when it is left in the raised (closed) position.
I love the colors of this small bridge - a pleasant improvement on the typical gray. In 1976, it was painted brighter colors - blue-violet towers, vermillion trim and yellow walkways. It was later repainted to its current, more subdued scheme, with a blue span and blue and green towers.
I admit to a sin of omission - I've never been to Ward's Island or taken the Ward's Island Footbridge. I plan to redeem myself soon and go there one it opens in the spring ...

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

It looks pretty...

info said...

I've looked at closeup photos of the bridge, on the bridge etc. It looks really cool - I'm looking forward to crossing it in the spring.

Carine said...

I like visiting this blog even if I'm not in NYC anymore, and this is weird today to see this picture I've seen so many times "for real" (I lived a long time on 100th st. and 1st av). I always thought this bridge was cool, and my curiosity brought me to cross it twice, it is a nice "break" from the city !

Thanks for your great pics and stories :-)

An Honest Man said...

A totally brilliant concept. Nice find Brian and good photograph

b13 said...

That is a really cool shot! Can't wait to see what secrets the island holds.

Marcel said...

Very nice photo and a very interesting post.

Marcel said...

Opps, I forgot to say how much I enjoy your blog! Your photography is superb!

Rian said...

This is cool! I'll be adding this bridge to my "places to go when the weather warms up" list. =)

Raisinany1 said...

How interesting that I pass this bridge most days on my walk home from work along the footpath on the East River. It's funny, I was taking pictures for my daily blog (more personal.less historical, but still shout outs of love to NYC some days) along here awhile ago and I saw someone else riding along taking pictures too...perhaps it was you! Thanks for the beautiful shot!