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.
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
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