NYCGO has a great guide to some of the secrets of New York, including that there’s a Cold War nuclear bomb shelter in the Brooklyn Bridge! When it was discovered in 2006 by city workers, it had an impressive stockpile inside that had lain untouched for fifty years. As reported by The New York Times in 2006, the shelter was located in one of the masonry foundations of the bridge on the Manhattan side, filled with “water drums, medical supplies, paper blankets, drugs and calorie-packed crackers — an estimated 352,000 of them, sealed in dozens of watertight metal canisters and, it seems, still edible.” Boxes with blanket were labeled “For Use Only After Enemy Attack.”
Many boxes were stamped with two key dates, continued The Times, “1957, when the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite, and 1962, when the Cuban missile crisis seemed to bring the world to the precipice of nuclear destruction.” There were also “several dozen boxes” containing sealed bottles of Dextran, an antithrombotic medication.
Learn more on our upcoming tour of the Secrets of the Brooklyn Bridge! (Please note: while this tour will cover the history of the vaults and Cold War shelter, we will not be going inside of the vaults.)