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A Bridge and A Lighthouse

 
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Bill D




Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 332
Location: Waterbury, CT

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:21 pm    Post subject: A Bridge and A Lighthouse Reply with quote

It is hard to imagine our transportation network without bridges. They allow us to overcome obstacles which had previously inhibited our ability to easily travel about. Lighthouses, while largely replaced by more modern navigational systems, were once the safety net for ships navigating our waterways.

The two were linked together in a 1942 children's book, titled "The Little Red Lighthouse and The Great Gray Bridge" by Hildegarde Swift, and illustrated by Lynd Ward. The story was that of a lighthouse doing it's duty until one day a large bridge was built almost directly on top of it. The lighthouse felt that it was no longer needed, until one stormy night, a ship crashed against the shore. The bridge reassured the lighthouse that everyone, no matter how large or small, was important.

For me as a child, the best part of this book was that I knew where the lighthouse and bridge were. My parents pointed the lighthouse out to me while traveling to New Jersey one time, and ever since then I always tried to catch a glimpse of it as traveled to the "great gray bridge". The bridge, if you didn't know, is the George Washington Bridge, and the lighthouse, officially Jeffrey's Hook Light, has been preserved by the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation.

I had the opportunity to visit both the lighthouse and the bridge yesterday. They are both wonderful to see up close, and something that many visitors to New York miss out on. Here are some pictures from my visit. Notice the many modes of transportation seen. Enjoy!

Bill





















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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill,

Great report on two of New York's most treasured landmarks.

As many times as I've crossed the GW, I never knew of the lighthouse until only recently.

Thanks for sharing and best regards,

Mr. 'L'
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Bill D




Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 332
Location: Waterbury, CT

PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mr. L !

The views from the bridge are fantastic! I highly recommend it.

Bill
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Steve Carras



Age: 59
Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:12 pm    Post subject: Re: A Bridge and A Lighthouse Reply with quote

Bill D wrote:
It is hard to imagine our transportation network without bridges. They allow us to overcome obstacles which had previously inhibited our ability to easily travel about. Lighthouses, while largely replaced by more modern navigational systems, were once the safety net for ships navigating our waterways.

The two were linked together in a 1942 children's book, titled "The Little Red Lighthouse and The Great Gray Bridge" by Hildegarde Swift, and illustrated by Lynd Ward. The story was that of a lighthouse doing it's duty until one day a large bridge was built almost directly on top of it. The lighthouse felt that it was no longer needed, until one stormy night, a ship crashed against the shore. The bridge reassured the lighthouse that everyone, no matter how large or small, was important.

For me as a child, the best part of this book was that I knew where the lighthouse and bridge were. My parents pointed the lighthouse out to me while traveling to New Jersey one time, and ever since then I always tried to catch a glimpse of it as traveled to the "great gray bridge". The bridge, if you didn't know, is the George Washington Bridge, and the lighthouse, officially Jeffrey's Hook Light, has been preserved by the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation.

I had the opportunity to visit both the lighthouse and the bridge yesterday. They are both wonderful to see up close, and something that many visitors to New York miss out on. Here are some pictures from my visit. Notice the many modes of transportation seen. Enjoy!

Bill























Thanks! I thought that it was going to be the Rhode Island/Newport Bridge but the book was written in 1942, 27 yrs before the Newport Bridge was, in 1969. I reogonized the G.Washington bridge (bridges are another topic I love.)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 8088
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve:

Just now came across this topic; as I am both greatly interested in bridges, lighthouses and in NY Harbor traffic of years back, you can be SURE that "The Little Red Lighthouse" has LONG been a favorite of mine!

In fact, about 20 years ago, I wrote a poem "Ode To Little Red", that was published in "Lighthouse Digest" magazine; "Harbor Lights" picked up the poem, and asked if they could include the poem with each of their "Little Red" miniatures; of course, I agreed, and was sent (gratis!) one of the first "proofs" of the miniature.....what an honor!

Many do not know that "Little Red" was originally a part of the long-defunct "Sandy Hook Range"; others are astounded to learn that lighthouses were (and still are) to be found on Staten Island!

Think about the Robbins Reef lighthouse; that humble lighthouse indeed guided Staten Island ferries (and countless other vessels over the course of many, many decades) safely to port for well over 100 years now.

Range lights and navigation lights also have a great deal of interest, despite their spindly appearances; the old Sandy Hook light station (knocked out of commission a few decades back during an encounter with a wayward vessel) was also known as a "Texas Tower".

Also, there was the main US LIGHTHOUSE DEPOT at St. George, which later was taken over by the Coast Guard, before they moved to Governor's Island in the late 60's.

Back in "Little Red's" heyday, its small Fresnel lens lit the way for excursion steamers of several different lines, ferryboats, tugs, lighters, and pleasure craft, year in, year out, for many years.

Getting back to the classic children's book, I STILL hate the part where "Little Red" thinks that he has been abandoned, and will shine no more.......that he looked as though he were crying REALLY got to you! (at least, the story had a HAPPY ending!)

I also liked that the GWB called him "Little Brother"!

Bridges*........


*It's a safe bet that today's harried motorists, gridlocked on the Brooklyn Bridge during rush hours, have no inkling whatsoever that, until 1944, a steady parade of BMT El trains rattled across the span, radiating out of the sprawling Park Row terminal, not to mention heavy streetcar traffic (the last streetcars crossed the BB in 1950)

The Queensboro Bridge, until 1942, also carried elevated trains of the INTERBOROUGH's 2nd Avenue line.

Ironically, on this day in 1944, the last BMT El trains crossed the mighty Brooklyn Bridge.

Regarding the mighty GWB, I've read that the IND 8th Avenue subway was originally supposed to be carried on the Bridge (the lower level, remember, was not opened until the early 1960's)

Another interesting bit of GWB trivia was that the steel towers were supposed to be encased in stone slabs (with the supporting hooks supposedly still in place on the steelwork)

This would have given the GWB's towers a look more like that on the Brooklyn Bridge; though I've seen handsome artists' renditions of this, I'm glad that the original steelwork is still visible today, reaching upwards like a monumental Erector Set!

And, believe it or not, a mechanical toy of the GWB was once manufactured (late 30's/early 40's); when you wound the toy up, tiny vehicles would scurry back and forth across the bridge!

This is, not surprisingly, a VERY rare toy today that fetches HUGE sums when it comes up for sale or auction.......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 8088
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

........three lighthouses are located in Manhattan, easily reached by subway:

The TITANIC MEMORIAL LIGHTHOUSE (which, until 1968, surmounted the old Seamen's Church Institute Building in lower Manhattan) is within walking distance from several subway (and bus) lines

The BLACKWELL (Roosevelt) ISLAND lighthouse can be reached by subway, bus, and the Roosevelt Island Tram.

JEFFEREY'S HOOK lighthouse ("Little Red") also can be reached by subway (W. 181st St. IND station)........

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 8088
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many folks these days are quite surprised, to say the least, to learn that, at one time, the Statue of Liberty "Liberty Enlightening The World") was once under the control of the now long-defunct US LIGHTHOUSE BOARD.

Liberty's torch (which later had sections of the flame cut out and replaced with glass, so that the new internal lamps could shine) was a beacon not only to millions of immigrants arriving by ship, but, also, to ships and other craft.

In 1892, there was also an experiment that had red, white, and blue bulbs illuminating the diadem.

In 1901, the Lighthouse Board then turned the Statue of Liberty over to the War Department; Miss Liberty was officially discontinued as an aid to navigation in 1902.....

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 8088
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like the famed and beloved "Little Red Lighthouse" (Jeffrey's Hook), another lighthouse in New York Harbor was once rendered redundant by a new nearby bridge, back in 1965.

The diminutive lighthouse at Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island, built in 1903, was de-activated after the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and then, restored and re-lighted in 2005.

When it began service in 1903, this lighthouse was equipped with a small, fourth-order Fresnel lens.

Also, until 1953, there was a "FORT WADSWORTH" station on the SIRT's South Beach branch, that was abandoned in 1953, along with electric passenger service on the Arlington (North Shore) line......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 8088
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just as the "Willy B" and the Manhattan Bridge both carry rapid transit tracks (former BMT) across their spans, it is interesting to recall, that, until 1958, electric rapid transit/commuter trains carried Trans-bay commuters over the lower level of the Bay Bridge.

In 1939, the "Red Trains" of the IER (Interurban Electric Railway, formerly ESPEE) as well as trains of the Sacramento Northern and the Key System began operation over the Bridge, now running direct to the new (now gone) Transbay Terminal in San Francisco, being rerouted from the old Key ferry pier and ESPEE's Oakland Mole's ferry slips.

Both third rail and overhead catenary was used over the Bridge for the trains of three different operators.

While the IER and SN trains were abandoned in the early 1940's, the orange Key System "Bridge Units" continued to operate over the Bay Bridge until the remaining rail routes were converted to buses in 1958.

Back in the early 60's, when talk began of a new electric rail transit system (to become "BART"), there was talk of running the new BART electrics over the Golden Gate Bridge (interestingly, this was only a few years after the KEY trains were removed from the Bridge)

A fellow I once knew, while on a sightseeing boat that was passing under the Bay Bridge, recalled his friend pointing upwards, showing him where the floor of the lower level had been re-enforced to carry the load of the electric trains, back in the 1930's..........

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The now-replaced Tappan Zee Bridge opened in 1955; the new bridge replaced the long-established ferry that had operated for many years (one of the ferryboats on this run was one of the original "ELECTRIC FERRIES" of the late 1920's, once commonplace sights on several routes in New York Harbor)

The new span was furnished with a fog horn on its center span; this, coupled with its bright lights, rendered the nearby Tarrytown lighthouse, which was built in 1883, nearly obsolete.

The old lighthouse continued to function; however, in 1959, it was automated and the intensity of its light (using a fourth-order Fresnel lens) was reduced.

It was finally de-activated in 1961; today it is a landmark, and, at times, is open for tours.........

"NYO"
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