|The 19th century equivalent of a trip to the moon.|
|Though rising to hair-raising heights, far more people died on the ground from |
what was called "caisson disease" than from falls.
|Graceful engineering, subject to|
structural overkill, might explain why
the bridge has stood for 129 years.
|Brooklyn Bridge, 1920s, Joseph Stella|
|The pedestrian level, Stella's inspiration.|
Though the bridge was far from being the first suspension bridge ever built (it was Roebling's fourth), it was, at the time, the longest, at well over a mile in length (a record it held until 1903). At some $15-million, it was also the most expensive. Artistically, John Roebling's Neo Gothic tower drawings, indeed, the bridge itself, are works of art. As so often happens with graceful iconic landmarks, art inspires art. The most famous of the bridge's painters was undoubtedly Joseph Stella (above, right). He did an entire series of abstract futurist paintings peering through Roebling's soaring granite and limestone arches from the bridge's upper level pedestrian walkway (six lanes of vehicular traffic utilized the lower level).
|Brooklyn Bridge, 1983, Andy Warhol|
|A bridge over troubled waters? New York City Waterfalls, 2008, Olafur Eliasson|