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Carroll Street Bridge

About this listing

Retractable bridge over Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal 

Place Details

Borough : Brooklyn
Neighborhood : Gowanus
Infrastructure, Transportation


Amy Young

I walk to it every day and have watched the cityscape change around it. "It was built in 1889 and is one of just four retractile bridges remaining in the United States. It is one of the oldest bridges in the city and an official New York City landmark located on the Gowanus Canal." The other bridges are functional and sturdy but this little blue bridge refers back to a time before Carroll Gardens and the Gowanus area began rushing towards full gentrification.

The physical details DO matter. In 1971 the city wanted to close it but the locals protested. It has gotten stuck a few times: in 1974 and in 1985-86. But in the late 1980s was declared a landmark because it was rare and usual. A few years ago they were going to "rebuild" it and there were protests again. It was restored in 1989 and 2013. It is a marvelous shade of blue, it stands out against the cityscape and you are close enough to the water to watch the tide come in.

I walk the bridge every day and I see families, single hikers, and new people to the neighborhood come, stand on the bridge, stare at the water, and enjoy this little gem. It has been a way for people to get out of the house [during COVID-19] - take a small walk - masked for sure and get a breath of fresh air. (The canal does not really smell that bad these days.)

(added April 2020)


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