Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Brooklyn Blog: Carroll Gardens Brooklyn History


We love new blogs that get us to stop skimming and actually read. The wonderful new Carroll Gardens Brooklyn History blog. It combines informative posts about neighborhood history with vintage photos and some more current issues. Check out an excerpt from this post about the Carroll Street Bridge, which is one of our top five Brooklyn landmarks:
Monte’s Venetian Room, an Italian restaurant two blocks away on Carroll Street, repainted the bridge in green, white, and red – the colors of the Italian flag around 1978...On November 12, 1985 the Carroll Street Bridge rolled into the open position to let the tanker Jet Trader pass through the Gowanus Canal. Two days later, an inspection revealed that the bridge was plagued by serious structural problems. These included corroded steel, deck holes and overworked and failing machinery. Department of Transportation engineers did not consider the bridge sound, and therefore decided to leave it in the open position. This severed a nearly 100-year-old link between the Carroll Gardens and Park Slope communities in Brooklyn.

Inadvertently, the designation of the bridge as a City landmark became an obstacle in getting funding to upgrade and repair the bridge. To be eligible for State and Federal funding for the estimated $3 million rehabilitation cost, the bridge would have had to be rebuilt to "modern" standards - with a steel deck instead of a wooden one and with other changes. These would not have been in accordance with the wishes of the Landmarks Commission that requires that the bridge retain its historic elements that include its wooden decking...
All we can say is, keep those posts coming.

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