05 [2/21] Reflection on the Brooklyn Bridge, Downtown and Brooklyn’s history

What did you learn from the Brooklyn Borough Historian? Where would you like to go next in learning more about the Brooklyn Bridge, Downtown Brooklyn, and the history of Brooklyn? Write a reflection about what you learned today with a few thoughts about how you might go next as you think about how the Brooklyn Bridge affected the history of Brooklyn.

30 thoughts on “05 [2/21] Reflection on the Brooklyn Bridge, Downtown and Brooklyn’s history

  1. What I learned about the Brooklyn Borough Historian today was his background story, and how he use to teach science for 31 years before he got into architecture. I learned how the Brooklyn Bridge had an opening in 1983, and what interested me most was when he mentioned how Brooklyn didn’t become a city until 1834. Before, there were just farms in Brooklyn, such as the Catherine Lott. I also learned that the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge started in 1870, and Emily Roebling was the first woman field engineer, and had a big impact in terms of helping with the bridge. I was very interested in learning about the railroads in Brooklyn, and how that changed overtime. Such as a railroad that was taken place where the Supreme Court is today. I would like to learn more about the history of Downtown Brooklyn, and how the Brooklyn Bridge made an impact on communities in both Brooklyn and Manhattan.

    • Be careful about dates: 1983 isn’t 1883! Yes, Emily Roebling is a topic but what specific question do you have about her? Same thing for both the railroads and the elevated line in Downtown as well as the very broad question about how the Brooklyn Bridge affected communities on each side. You’ll want to get more specific.

  2. From this class, we learned about the history of brooklyn bridge. However, there was not just history of bridge. The speaker also brought other side stories which had contect with brooklyn bridge. We learned the eraly history of New York, and how brooklyn became a city. This class did not only bring me back to the video that talked about brooklyn bridge, but also gave more information about the history. As a architect student, I know bridge is one of the special type of building in my major. For the study of bridge, I want learn more about the technology of bridge. The details drawing will be a very interesting part to me.

    • I’m glad you circled back to the Ken Burns documentary. We will have fun locating the detailed drawings. Think about what related to the technology you want to focus on: are you interested in the engineering breakthroughs? How can we identify them? Perhaps you will want to learn more about Roebling’s process in a book and then look for his papers and letter as well as plans.

  3. It is very interesting about the speech. In the speech, I have learnt a lot about the history of Brooklyn bridge. The purpose of the Brooklyn bridge is to make a connection between the city Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn. At that time, the population and economy was grown rapidly in downtown Brooklyn and it is necessary to build a connection to make the people can flow between the two cities in order to increase the scale of the city. Behind the bridge, there were a lot of effort from the architects, engineers, workers and charitarians. They played their role in different fields so that the bridge can be built so successfully. This is a great treasure of the city and proud of the people. As an Architectural student, I would like to search more information about the design and construction ideas of the bridge, know more about this architectural achieve. And use them one day in my future life.

  4. What i learned about the history about the brooklyn bridge was the cable that was use was to help support the bridge from falling down. I also learn that his son washington roeling was the one who help complete the bridge that his father want to build but past away before it can be finish.The guest speaker also talk about how there where railroad train in downtown broooklyn and how people can walk on it. He also describe how thing back then where like and how downtown brooklyn change over time and also learn how New York city became the place that we know today.

  5. Through the Brooklyn Borough Historian speaking, Brooklyn Bridge become the top on my favorite bridge list. I loved its history and what it affected to surround area. It was very interesting when he showed us three different pictures in the order. After Brooklyn Bridge was built, the downtown Brooklyn area obviously has been transformed. There were few buildings in the downtown area, however it was filled with many buildings and rail road in there on the picture after 20 years that Brooklyn Bridge was built. The structure of Brooklyn Bridge attracted me. Each big cable has 5000 cables tightly together. Also, the tower on the Manhattan side has sat on the sand for more than 200 years. I remembered our bridge making lecture, and just could not imagine how hard to construct the bridge has been carrying thousands people for over 200 years. It was very helpful story that Brooklyn Bridge has been done with the downtown Brooklyn for urban tourism and sustainable tourism that is what I am very interested in.

    • I’m glad you learned something from the three different pictures: this is a powerful way to learn about something. And the theme of urban and sustainable tourism is very rich. We’ll want to explore connections between the bridge and tourism–this will be challenging, I think..

  6. In the class, I learn many interesting facts. I think the most important thing from the class the how the bridge change the Brooklyn. I realized that at that time, many labor workers was dead during the construction. In the other words, the company didn’t care much about the bridge. The workers didn’t have a lot of right at that time. It was very cruel. Even in such a great construction, workers’ safety were so careless. And after the bridge open, people were afraid of that the bridge would collapse. Anyway, the most precious in that class, I think it is the post cards. Those showed us the past of downtown Brooklyn.

  7. Listening about the history of the Brooklyn bridge really opened up my mind. I learned that the Brooklyn Bridge helped the economy because it connected manhattan and Brooklyn which allowed for trade to occur. Also learned that they tested the bridge based on elephants which I thought was really interesting. The historian also gave us a great background information about the important people behind the work of the bridge. Learning this information from just one bridge makes me want to explore the entire Brooklyn borough and learn about the importance about other bridges, buildings, or parks. I know look at the Brooklyn Bridge from a different perspective because there is so much history behind it.

  8. In class, I’ve learned so much about the history of the Brooklyn bridge and about the history of Brooklyn. I was born and raised in the Bronx. Although I barely knew anything about the history of Brooklyn, I found it cool and interesting when the Brooklyn borough historian gave us a glance of his background. It helped us get to know him better. I like that I’ve learned the background of Brooklyn, and the information that the historian told us in class how the Brooklyn Bridge was created. It was also interesting to know how people used to travel to go to the city. I enjoy that he showed us pictures and explained how important the Brooklyn Bridge is. This made me want to explore more in Brooklyn.

  9. Thursdays class was very interesting and informative. The Brooklyn historian gave us a lot gave us a great presentation of the history of brooklyn and the brooklyn bridge. I enjoyed learning about the culture and architecture in Brooklyn I never knew about. It gave me a really different perspective of Brooklyn. Being from Queens I never really go to Brooklyn so it was really interesting to learn about the history of the borough. I also learned how the Brooklyn bridge impacted Brooklyn in a huge way. Before the bridge was built people had to walk or swim from Manhattan to Brooklyn. The bridge opened a pathway so that many more people could live in Brooklyn. The population in Brooklyn grew immensely after the Brooklyn bridge was built. It was also nice to see all the pictures and postcards that the Brooklyn historian brought to class. I hope to learn more about Brooklyn.

  10. I learned a lot of the backstory of the Brooklyn Bridge and Downtown Brooklyn. For instance, I learned that the Brooklyn Bridge was first going to be called the East River Bridge. In 1833, Brooklyn was known as Kings County. In 1852, the East River froze so much that people were able to walk on top of the ice in order to commute from lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. This was one of the reason why the Brooklyn Bridge was needed as well as to help relieve the overcrowding in the lower Manhattan. I would like to explore a lot more of the Bridge and Downtown Brooklyn since I do not live in this area, it would interesting to learn and see more of its abundance history.

    • hi Cristina: Did you know that Brooklyn is formally known as Kings County. Why, I don’t know. Staten Island is technically Richmond County. The East River freezing story affected me as well and it’s good that you picked up on that since not every account related to the Bridge addresses this.

  11. I learned a lot from listening to he Brooklyn Historian talk. I learned that Brooklyn wasn’t a city before 1838 because they were afraid i would effect the economy of the city of Manhattan. Also that the brooklyn bridge was the first and longest bridge for 20 years. Then the Williamsburg bridge was built after and finally Manhattan bridge all on the lower side of Manhattan. All the stories he told were very interesting. As a mechanical engineering student I would like to learn more about the construction of he Brooklyn bridge how the area of downtown Brooklyn had an effect on Manhattan. I learned so much about the Brooklyn bridge and will now with all the information i learned will never look at it the same.

  12. Having the Borough historian educate us on the Brooklyn bridge and Brooklyn’s history during that time period answered a lot of questions I use to have like, “How did Flatbush look years ago?” or “Where did they get the name for the streets & avenues?” I knew a little bit of information from an episode about the Emily Roebling on the Tv show “Drunk History,” but that presentation was better by far.

  13. Having the Borough historian educate us on the Brooklyn bridge and Brooklyn’s history during that time period answered a lot of questions I use to have like, “How did Flatbush look years ago?” or “Where did they get the name for the streets & avenues?” I knew a little bit of information from an episode about the Emily Roebling on the Tv show “Drunk History,” but the in class presentation was better by far.

  14. Listening to the Historian was a great experience. To see such a passionate and knowledgeable person speak about The Brooklyn Bridge helped me grasp alot of information I was unaware of.
    I live in Brooklyn and as a “Brooklyners” I didn’t know how interesting Brooklyn’s history is. To see that the city in where I live had such a huge impact throughout the world. From the Caissons to the Brooklyn Dodgers to the name of the streets, I was amazed how everything ties on together.

  15. I learned a lot with the Brooklyn Borough Historian, not only about the Brooklyn Bridge but also about Brooklyn. I’m from Flatbush Brooklyn and I learned about the development of buildings in my neighboorhood. The most interesting part for me was how the Brooklyn Bridge developed our borough economically and in infrastructure. From the tragedies on the bridge to a background on how it was built my knowledge about the Brooklyn Bridge has expanded. The past pictures we saw in the class of Downtown Brooklyn clearly shows how much the Brooklyn Bridge has had an impact In New York City’s History.

  16. I’ve learned a lot about Brooklyn bridge and the history behind of constructing the bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan. It connects the two neighborhood who lives in both areas and makes a huge relation which affects the area in residentially and commercially. I was born and rasied outside of New York and I don’t know much about the back history of this city. I’ve found myself curious when the Brooklyn borough Historian talks about his background and profession. He talks like an open book of history, such as he goes over each subjects we seem like tossing the pages of a book. The most interesting part was I’ve learned that how Brooklyn bridge established 1883 and before making this the Hudson river used to packed with ice path during winter. I’ve also know how the bridge was constructed by the workers and they had to take a risk of their lives because of Nitrogen gases when making the bridge. It has a main span of 1,595.5 feet (486.3 m) and was the first steel-wire suspension bridge constructed. Although the postcards were pretty old and out of fashion but he keep those things very carefully and nicely to show the people who loves architecture.

  17. Having the Borough historian educate us on the Brooklyn bridge and Brooklyn’s history during that time period answered a lot of questions I use to have like, “How did Flatbush look years ago?” or “Where did they get the name for the streets & avenues?” I knew a little bit of information from an episode about the Emily Roebling on the Tv show “Drunk History,” but that presentation was better by far.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *