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Verrazano Narrows Bridge

Brooklyn Anchorage
Library of Congress
Staten Island Anchorage
Library of Congress
The Verrazano Narrows Bridge spans 7,200 feet from the Brooklyn Anchorage to the Staten Island Anchorage. Compare that to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California which spans 4,620 feet or the George Washington Bridge in New York City, New York at 3,500 feet.

The Bridge is named for Giovanni Di Verrazano, the Italian explorer who discovered New York Harbor in 1524.

Under construction. March 6, 1964
Museum of the City of New York
Early Postcard
New York Public Library
Construction of the bridge was overseen by Robert Moses, who at the time was Commissioner of New York State Parks and head of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. Construction began on August 13, 1959 and the upper deck was completed on November 21, 1964. The lower deck was completed on June 28, 1969. At it's completion in 1964, the bridge took the title of the longest suspension bridge in the World from the Golden Gate Bridge and held the title until 1981when the Humber Bridge in England was completed.






From Fort Hamilton March 6, 1964
Museum of the City of New York

The pillar of the Brooklyn tower was built on an existing island off of Brooklyn's pier line that contained Fort Lafayette. Fort Lafayette was built on a natural island known as Hendrick's Reef off of Fort Hamilton in the Narrows. Construction began during the War of 1812 and was completed in 1818. The fort was originally named Fort Diamond but was renamed in 1825 for Marquis de La Fayette. Fort Lafayette served as a Civil War prison and came to be known as the "American Bastille" in the 1860s. In 1868 the fort was rebuilt after a terrible fire. The fort was then used as an ammunition storage until World War II. The fort was destroyed in 1960 for the construction of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.


Lower Roadway Looking South Towards Staten Island
Library of Congress



The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA) paid the United States Army $26 million for the land at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn and Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island that the bridge used.




From Staten Island
Library of Congress
Library of Congress
From South Beach (June 1973)
National Archives and Records Administration
Nearby, was the site of "Hylan's Holes." The 1919 tunnel, began during Mayor John F. Hylan's administration - a major champion of the project. The tunnel was to connect Brooklyn to Staten Island through a rail tunnel. Although the New York State Legislature authorized the public work, spiraling construction costs ruin the project before long and the holes are abandoned. The hole in Staten Island was created near Fort Wadsworth and the Brooklyn hole was begun at 68th Street between the Belt Parkway and Shore Road.


Library of Congress


November 18, 1964
Museum of the City of New York

From South Beach (June 1973)
National Archives and Records Administration
Under construction. November 26, 1963
Museum of the City of New York
Under construction. July 1, 1963
Museum of the City of New York
Under construction. December 4, 1963
Museum of the City of New York
1962
Museum of the City of New York
View of section of hand rail November, 18 1964
Museum of the City of New York
Library of Congress
Library of Congress

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