During a dozen years of construction, which cost the life of its designer and the health of his son, who stepped in to finish the job, the "Great Bridge" had countless detractors. Newspapers predicted it would collapse and fall into the East River. And there were dark rumors about funds for the bridge being funneled to some crooked characters affiliated with Tammany Hall.
Despite the skeptics, the bridge still stands. And it is used daily by many thousands of commuters.
Reflecting its 19th century construction, the bridge has a pedestrian walkway that is still used each and every day by commuters seeking exercise and tourists seeking a great place to view and photograph the city's ever-changing skyline.
The bridge is actually a well-tended machine, and with proper maintenance it could last for centuries to come. Let's hope it does!
Illustration: Fireworks celebrating the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, May 24, 1883/Library of Congress
Connect on Facebook: AboutHistory1800s
Follow on Twitter: @History1800s