The Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society in America

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Building The Brooklyn Bridge 1869 to 1883

January 20, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Thursday, January 20th, 2022

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM


About this event

Author Jeffrey I. Richman will tell the captivating story of how a bridge of unprecedented size and technology was built over the East River, connecting, for the first time, the then independent cities of Brooklyn and New York. This awe-inspiring structure—built during an age of technological innovation— was not only a modern engineering feat of extraordinary imagination, fortitude, and skill, it also was a towering beacon of human triumph.

In his lecture, based on his recently published book, Building The Brooklyn Bridge 1869 to 1883: An Illustrated History with Images in 3D, Mr. Richman will share some of the 253 superb 19th-century images, many never before published on the printed page (published by Bauer and Dean Publishers).

A born storyteller, Mr. Richman relates how a small group of dedicated engineers and thousands of workers toiled for more than a decade to construct what was then the largest suspension bridge ever built, section by section, from the massive anchorages and elegant towers to the cables and bridge railway (operational four months after the bridge’s official opening). He reminds us how profoundly modern and groundbreaking the bridge was, in its use of new materials (steel), new technologies (electricity), and pioneering construction methods. He will discuss why this iconic bridge—proclaimed the “eighth wonder of the world” soon after its completion and a National Historic Landmark in 1964—continues to hold such a special place in the hearts of so many.

Kurt Andersen, best-selling author and former host of the Peabody Award winning “Studio 360,” has written: “If you love Brooklyn or bridges or New York City or cities or 19th century marvels –– or all of the above, as I do ––Building Brooklyn Bridge is a perfect feast, a would-be time-traveler’s delight, overflowing with rare and evocative and fascinating images. It’s a terrific book!”

Early sign-ups will receive a set of 3-D glasses for the talk!

Bio: Jeffrey I. Richman has been fascinated by New York City’s history for as long as he can remember. In 2007, after thirty-three years practicing law, representing indigent criminal defendants, he became the full-time historian at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery Since then, he has led Green-Wood’s Civil War, World War I, and World War II projects which, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, have researched, written, and posted online biographies of thousands of veterans interred there. He is the author of three books, including Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery: New York’s Buried Treasure (1998). He has also curated many exhibitions, including three on the Civil War and one on Coney Island. Driven by his passion for history in general and nineteenth-century New York in particular, Richman is an avid collector who has amassed an outstanding collection of stereoview and lantern slide photographs of early New York—including many of the Brooklyn Bridge under construction—that he has donated to The Green-Wood Historic Fund. One of his fondest memories is of attending the one-hundredth anniversary of the bridge’s opening in 1983—just one milestone in his love affair with the Brooklyn Bridge.


Reserve Your Tickets Here



January 20, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm