The German-American Family Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge
In Creating an Icon, Washington Roebling and His Kin Realized Dreams That Europe Never Could Fulfill
The Brooklyn Bridge was truly an American project embodying a certain American ideal. And people celebrated that fact from the start.
On May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge—after 14 years of construction—was opened at last. The mayor of Brooklyn, Seth Low, had declared the day a public holiday in his city; on the New York side, there was a “strong expression of sentiment” in favor of closing the Stock Exchange early. The president of the United States, Chester A. Arthur, along with future president Grover Cleveland, governor of New York, made …