5. 69th Street Transfer Bridge

69th Street Transfer Bridge

The 69th Street transfer bridge, along Riverside Park South, was once a transfer terminal for the New York Central Railroad, facilitating the movement of freight from railyards to river barges known as “car floats.” This one, which is nearly 110 years old, is “Floating Bridge  No. 4” and for many years, has lay abandoned although a stabilization project from NYC Parks is underway. It has been the subject of a few art installations, including a light projection in 2018 by Tony Oursler Studio and the Public Art Fund.

Nearly twenty years ago, the Riverside South Planning Corporation announced plans to convert this floating bridge on W. 69th Street into a ferry terminal. Even Donald Trump supported it, thinking it would take pressure off the 72nd Street 1/2/3 subway station. But New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recommended against the ferry plan because dredging would destroy the habitats for aquatic plants and animals. Fortunately, the D.E.C. was not against preserving the structure itself, although some nearby residents wanted it demolished. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.