New York, New York
GC: Koch Skanska, Carteret, New Jersey
Architect: New York City Department of Transportation, New York
The landmark Williamsburg Bridge is the largest of the three suspension bridges that span the heavily navigated East River. Construction on the bridge began in 1896 with Leffert L. Buck as chief engineer and designer Henry Hornbostel as architect. The bridge opened on December 19, 1903. Upon the bridge’s completion, it became the longest suspension bridge in the world. The first elevated train went into service on the bridge in 1905. This bridge and the Manhattan Bridge are the only suspension bridges in New York City which still carry both automobile and rail traffic. The massive suspension bridge connects the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Delancey Street with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Allen Architectural Metals, Inc. was chosen to re-create the four large-scale electroliers that illuminate the bridge and two sets of decorative bronze figure- heads that mark the Brooklyn entrance to the bridge. The electroliers were fabricated from steel and a combination of cast iron components. The hundreds of steel rivets utilized in the fabrication process demanded a precision assembly. Allen was also responsible for the re-creation of the two sets of decorative bronze figure-heads and bandings. These massive figure-heads were molded and cast in bronze as exact replicas and polished to a satin finish. The laurel leaf bandings surrounding the illuminated obelisks that support the figure-heads we re molded and cast in bronze to match the originals from the bridge as well. Much time and attention to detail was necessary to bring this giant bridge back to its original luster.