HistoricBridges.org Menu: HistoricBridges.org Menu:

We Recommend These Resources:
Bach Steel - Experts at historic truss bridge restoration.

HistoricBridges.org: Bridge Browser

Bow Bridge

Bridge 5

Bow Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: September 3, 2019

View Photos
and Videos
View Maps
and Links

Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Pedestrian Walkway Over The Lake
New York: Manhattan, New York: United States
Structure Type
Metal Hingeless Deck Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1862 By Builder/Contractor: Janes, Kirtland and Company of New York, New York and Engineer/Design: Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
87 Feet (26.5 Meters)
Structure Length
142 Feet (43.3 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

With its long, graceful span, this is the most famous of the nationally significant cast iron arch bridges in Central Park. The arch span is the longest in the park. It also retains unique iron post-tensioned floorbeams that appear to be original to the bridge. Thus this bridge stands out as the most substantial engineering work among the cast iron bridges. The bridge width is 15 feet 8 inches (4.78 m) and the bridge height is 9 feet 6 inches (2.90 m).

The Historic American Engineering Record lists the builder of this bridge as J. B. & W. W. Cornell Iron Works of New York, New York (who built other arches in the park), but other sources (including the former Greensward Foundation) list Janes, Kirtland and Company of New York, New York, the company who cast the dome of the US Capitol. The Greensward Foundation further documents this history and notes that the bridge was being built at the same time as the order for the casting of the US Capitol dome was placed, and that the bridge was "rushed to completion" with some minor changes made to speed the construction. Given this detailed history, HistoricBridges.org is assuming the history from the Greensward Foundation is correct, and that the Historic American Engineering Record is in error. 

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

Above: View under bridge showing unusual floorbeams.

Above: Calvert Vaux

Above: Jacob Wrey Mould

This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Cast Iron


Photo Galleries and Videos: Bow Bridge

View Photo Gallery
Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


Maps and Links: Bow Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

View Bridge Location In:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within a half mile of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles of this bridge.

Google Maps

Google Streetview (If Available)

Bing Maps


Apple Maps (Via DuckDuckGo Search)

Apple Maps (Apple devices only)


HERE We Go Maps

ACME Mapper

Waze Map

Android: Open Location In Your Map or GPS App

Flickr Gallery (Find Nearby Photos)

Wikimedia Commons (Find Nearby Photos)

Directions Via Sygic For Android

Directions Via Sygic For iOS and Android Dolphin Browser

USGS National Map (United States Only)

Historical USGS Topo Maps (United States Only)

CalTopo Maps (United States Only)

Home Top


About - Contact

© Copyright 2003-2021, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.

Admin Login