2017-03-15 / Features

Hell Gate Bridge Centennial


GAHS President Matt LaRose and bridge photographer Dave Frieder do the honors in cutting the cake 
Photos Walter Karling GAHS President Matt LaRose and bridge photographer Dave Frieder do the honors in cutting the cake Photos Walter Karling March 9th, 2017 marked 100 years to the day when the Hell Gate Bridge – the railroad bridge which spans the East River – opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the crossing of the first train in 1917.

The centennial birthday event was held at the Greater Astoria Historical Society (GAHS) on Broadway in Astoria. The organization celebrated with a birthday cake and presentation by Dave Frieder. Known as “The Bridge Man,” Mr. Frieder shared a history of the bridge to a packed house. According to Frieder, prior to the Hell Gate’s construction in 1917, if you wanted to travel from Washington, DC to Boston, you would have had to interrupt your journey to take ferries in the NYC area. The bridge enabled east coast travelers and freight to make the journey uninterrupted. The architecture of the bridge, designed by Gustav Lindenthal, was so superior, that when the signature arch span came together in the middle they were only off by 5/16 of an inch. Drinks and cake followed the end of the presentation, which included a slide show of Frieder’s photographs taken atop the Hell Gate Bridge.



A birthday cake for the Hell Gate Bridge Centennial. A birthday cake for the Hell Gate Bridge Centennial.

GAHS board member and event MC Richard Melnick greeted the full house of attendees. The event was free to the public and standing room only. GAHS board member and event MC Richard Melnick greeted the full house of attendees. The event was free to the public and standing room only.

The audience raises their cups to toast the long-lived local engineering marvel. 
Photos Walter Karling The audience raises their cups to toast the long-lived local engineering marvel. Photos Walter Karling

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