Monument to a fake elephant stampede at the Brooklyn Bridge
Image courtesy Joe Reginella

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York City’s most iconic and recognizable landmarks, so it makes the perfect dramatic backdrop for impactful outdoor art installations. Drawing on the history of the bridge, the cultures of Brooklyn, and taking advantage of the views at Brooklyn Bridge Park, these art installations have made a lasting impression. From a monument to a made-up historical event to a warship with a fancy paint job, here are 10 unique art installations that appeared at the Brooklyn Bridge:

1. Creative Time Inside the Anchorage

Brooklyn Bridge anchorages

Creative Time has commissioned and presented ambitious public art projects in unique locations all over the world and even outer space! One of the most intriguing locations Creative Time made use of in New York City was the Anchorage inside the foundation of the Brooklyn Bridge. The series of installations, Art in the Anchorage, began in 1983 to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the bridge and continued until 2001.

Over the span of eighteen years, many artists took their work into the cavernous space that bridge designer John A. Roebling had envisioned as a shopping arcade, where masonry piers housed the bridge’s cables. According to Julie Golia, a historian of the Brooklyn Historical Society, Roebling “gave the inside [of each] the same Gothic design as the towers, with beautiful 50-foot-high cathedral ceilings. But that plan fell through, and for most of history, they’ve been municipal storage.” Unfortunately, in 2001 the space was closed off for security reasons.