3. There were plans to put a restaurant on top of the George Washington Bridge
All throughout New York (and parts of New Jersey by the waterfront), there are rooftop restaurants and bars on historic buildings. One rooftop restaurant that did not come to fruition, though, was one that would top the George Washington Bridge. Architect Cass Gilbert worked with Othmar Ammann on the bridge’s design and construction, though he primarily left Ammann to create on his own save for a few ideas of his own.
Perhaps the most radical of Gilbert’s ideas was adding a restaurant to the tower on the Fort Lee side of the bridge. The tower would have also featured a boat drop-off, per Gilbert’s drawings. Since the bridge opened in 1931 at the beginning of the Great Depression, funds were not as readily available for all of these expensive additions. One way that the bridge made money was by charging a pedestrian toll of 10 cents when it first opened; after complaints, it was dropped to 5 cents, then became free in 1940. Gilbert had a few other ideas that never materialized, such as encasing the steel towers in granite and concrete and adding elevators to the tops of the towers for observation desks.