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The Manhattan Bridge: 112 Years of Bridging NYC’s Premier Boroughs

There is a moment when the Q subway train emerges from the tunnel after the Grand Street station and glides into the sunlight on the Manhattan Bridge that turns even the most jaded New Yorkers into gaping tourists. Ride the train at an off-peak hour, and you’ll see people glancing up from their phones to take in the majesty of the view over the river and the city. It’s an opportunity to recall that the city is a constructed thing, the connection between the boroughs made possible by human engineering and ingenuity. Extell Development’s One Manhattan Square is now a part of that iconic view and moment, and its residents reap the benefits not only of the bridge’s aesthetic power, but also of living at the edge of that liminal space over the waterway that makes New York what it is.

Completed and opened on Dec. 31, 1909, the Manhattan Bridge was designed by Leon Moisseiff and built by the Phoenix Bridge Company. It was the model for most of the suspension bridges that changed infrastructure forever in the first half of the 20th century. It was the first bridge ever to use what was coined “deflection theory,” which was the idea that the suspension model of bridge building was actually much more secure than was previously thought, allowing bridges to be built without weight-supporting trusses, as earlier bridges had been designed. The Manhattan entrance to the bridge is framed by one of New York’s three triumphal arches and a colonnade designed by architects Carrère and Hastings in 1915, which lends the neighborhood a magisterial whiff of Europe.

This game-changing structure is now a deeply embedded part of the city map, and for residents of the One Manhattan Square condos, it’s a recreational attraction as well as a gateway to Brooklyn, Long Island, the ocean, and beyond. A drive, a train ride, a walk on the pedestrian pathway, or a spin on the dedicated bike lane gets you to the art galleries of Dumbo, the wide-open spaces of Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the world-renowned dining scene of Brooklyn.

It is this bridge that binds Brooklyn to the Lower East Side and makes the hot spots of Downtown Brooklyn and Dumbo an extension of your neighborhood at One Manhattan Square. A quick morning ride over the bridge and you can breakfast on Paris-perfect chocolate croissants at Almondine Bakery and take in the latest exhibition at Smack Mellon and still have time to grab dumplings back in Chinatown before heading back to your home at One Manhattan Square, where the span of the bridge always beckons with inspiring vistas and possibilities.