Brooklyn Boro

December 31: ON THIS DAY in 1909, Manhattan Bridge opens to traffic

December 31, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle

ON THIS DAY IN 1909, the Eagle reported, “Mayor [George] McClellan, at the head of a procession of automobiles, carriages and pedestrians, rode to Brooklyn this afternoon over a new public highway, the Manhattan Bridge, and officially opened the structure to traffic. The trip was made shortly after 2 o’clock. An hour later the event was celebrated at the Brooklyn Club, at Pierrepont and Clinton streets, where city officials, bridge engineers and citizens gathered for luncheon and exercises befitting the occasion. Still later, at 5 o’clock, the roadway of the great bridge – the greatest in respect to capacity in the world – will be thrown open to public vehicular traffic, earning its first revenue. From this evening on the structure will be a working institution, taking the regular bridge tolls from automobiles, wagons and carriages.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1860, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “The Academy of Music is rapidly approaching completion. The interior decorations are being pushed forward with great energy, and in a couple of weeks at furthest the building will be opened with appropriate eclat. So many of our citizens evince a desire to see the progress of the work, that in order not to interfere with business going forward, the words ‘no admittance’ have been placed across the entrance, and a man put there to enforce a strict compliance with the request. The scaffolding having been long ago removed from the outside, our citizens have had an opportunity to make up their minds on its exterior appearance. The style of architecture is denominated a combination of the Gothic and Moorish. We are as proud of our new Academy as anybody can be, still we cannot endorse a marriage of Gothic and Moorish architecture as a successful union to be elsewhere imitated. But the directors designed the building to be ‘the ornament and pride of Brooklyn,’ as the circular says, and if it falls short of that nobody is more pained by it than they are.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1897, the Eagle reported, “Interest is very great in the observance to take place at the City Hall tonight, and in many respects the affair will be one that will never see a repetition. This morning, while the rain poured outside, the officials in the City Hall were satisfied that this unique proceeding, the last assemblage of Brooklyn’s prominent men in the City of Brooklyn, would be well attended. They felt that the reception would be well worth attending, if not from sentiment involved, at least for the opportunity of meeting the former mayors and officials in one great homelike gathering, where everyone will be presumed to know everyone else. As there will probably be no music during the reception the guests are invited to roam through the building at will and become thoroughly acquainted with the historic building.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1899, the Eagle reported, “Among the progressive and rapidly growing suburbs of Brooklyn Borough, none perhaps are making a speedier approach toward the climax of possible development than Dyker Heights. During 1899 fifty handsome residences of considerable individual cost have been added to its dwelling house list, and of this number, twenty-five have been commenced and finished since the first of June last. Gratifying as is the record to those who have selected the attractive plateau in question as their permanent home, inasmuch as it adds a welcome number of congenial neighbors to the colony of mutual acquaintances, it is still more so from an investment point of view since it demonstrates that suburban property is far from losing its climbing quality. What has occurred, however, is only a fraction of next year’s achievement. Already a hundred houses are on the building docket for completion during the ensuing twelve months. Work has recently been commenced upon thirty high class residences, the demand for which runs a dead heat with the supply.”


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