The Brooklyn Bridge is a very well-known bridge in New York City. It is one of the oldest hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridges in the United States since it was completed and opened in 1883. The Brooklyn Bridge connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn through the East River.
Originally, this famous landmark was referred to as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge and as the East River Bridge. Its current name dates back to January 25, 1867, although it was formally approved by the city government in 1915. Throughout the years, the Brooklyn Bridge has become an icon of New York City. As a consequence, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972.
Brooklyn Bridge’s opening ceremony was attended by thousands of people and a number of ships were also present in the East Bay. President Chester A. Arthur and Mayor Franklin Edson crossed the bridge towards the Brooklyn-side tower. The festivities also included the performance of a band, gunfire from ships, celebratory cannons and a fireworks display.
The bridge’s designer, German immigrant John Augustus Roebling, had passed away by that time. His son, Washington Roebling, had taken over his work during the bridge construction, and was visited by President Arthur at his home the day of the inauguration, where he was holding a celebratory banquet.
Since its advanced technological features, the Brooklyn Bridge was an astonishing new landmark for contemporaries, thus becoming a symbol of the optimism of the time. It has been said that a “religious leap of faith” embodied the bridge, according to American poet John Perry Barlow.