The Brooklyn Bridge: A World Wonder

Through the majesty of  its gothic towers and its flying suspension wires, the Brooklyn Bridge has become a symbol of national pride.  The culmination of paintings, poetry, books, and movies show the unique cultural identity of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Brooklyn Bridge's 21st century  Fourth of July celebration
Painter Joseph Stella's modern take on the Brooklyn Bridge. 
"Dame of the Narrows" by Red Grooms located in the Brooklyn Museum.
"Brooklyn Bridge" by Dick Smolinski


Inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge's opening, Will Carleton wrote a now famous poem describing the enthusiastic spirit of the people when Brooklyn and Manhattan were united.



LET all of the bells ring clear-
Let all of the flags be seen!
The King of the Western Hemisphere
Has married the Island Queen 
For many a day he waited
By the lordly river's side,
And deemed that the maid was fated
To be his own true bride;
For many a night he wooed her
Upon her lofty throne,
For many a year pursued her,
To win her for his own ;
Norr thankless his endeavor,
Nor coy the regal maid ;
But, like true love's course ever,
The banns were long delayed.
And boys to men had grown,

And men their graves had sought ;
But the gulf ,was yet between them thrown, 
And the wooing seemed for naught.
And couriers oft were dashing
'Twixt him and his adored ;
But still was the river flashing 
Betweent them, like a sword.
In heart they well were mated ;

On May 24, 1883, Over 50, 000 people rejoiced during the opening ceremonies of the Brooklyn Bridge. This only marked the beginning of the Brooklyn Bridge's lasting cultural impact. 
On May 17, 1884, circus showman, P. T. Barnum, led 21 elephants over the Brooklyn Bridge to prove that it was stable.
Andy Warhol's famous print of the Brooklyn Bridge
"Fireworks Off the Bridge" by unknown artist in 1883
Georgia O'Keeffe "Brooklyn Bridge" in 1949
"Bridge Tower" by Glenn O. Coleman in 1929

A Clip from Ken Burns' documentary entitled "The Brooklyn Bridge." In this clip various scenes from movies and television are shown that contain the Brooklyn Bridge. This depicts the broad cultural impact that the bridge has had on America.

And patiently and long
They for each other waited -
These lovers true and strong 

Let never a flag be hidden !
Let never a bell be dumb !
The guests have all been bidden-
The wedding-day has come !
Through many a golden year

Shall shine this silvery tie ;
The wondering world will gather here,
And gaze, with gleaming eye. 
Philosophers will ponder
How, blessed by the hand of Heaven.
The world has another wonder
To add to her ancient seven. 
Philanthropists will linger
To view the giant span,
And point, with grateful finger,
To man's great work for man ;
And all will bless the year
When, in the May-month green,
The King of the Western Hemisphere
Was wed to the Island Queen

  • In addition to art, the Brooklyn Bridge also inspired many writers. Allan Trachtenberg wrote about the bridge in his article called "Brooklyn Bridge and the Mastery of Nature" in the Massachusetts Review in 1963. He describes the cultural impact of the bridge as a symbol of "American ingenuity" and its representation of a "leap into the future."