A walk over the Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York City’s most popular past times for tourists and residents alike. It’s hard not to be amazed by the granite and limestone structure, now 131 years old. But beyond its stately exterior lie many secrets. So the next time you find yourself at the bridge, remember back to these secrets of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Also join us for our upcoming tour of the Secrets of Brooklyn Bridge this spring:
1. There’s a Cold War Bomb Shelter on the Manhattan Side of the Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge Cold War Shelter. Photo: REUTERS/Seth Wenig
In 2006, a veritable time capsule was discovered by city workers in a vault in one of the masonry foundations of the bridge on the Manhattan side. The impressive stockpile had lain untouched for fifty years, as reported by The New York Times, 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.