HISTORY Blog

Building the Brooklyn Bridge

By History.com Staff

On January 3, 1870 construction began on the 1,600-foot-long Brooklyn Bridge, spanning the East River and connecting the New York boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. An engineering marvel, the bridge was designed by legendary architect John Augustus Roebling. When Roebling died just weeks before construction got underway, his son Washington—a decorated soldier who had fought for the Union during the American Civil War—assumed control of the project. Later that year, Washington himself would be incapacitated after developing decompression sickness, also known as the “bends.” His wife Emily oversaw the day-to-day construction of the bridge until its completion in 1883.

Find out more about the construction the Brooklyn Bridge, which was once nicknamed the “eighth wonder of the world,” below.


Linking the borough of Brooklyn with Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge stands as a marvel of engineering.

Categories: Brooklyn Bridge, New York City