12. There Was Going to be a Shopping Arcade Inside the Brooklyn Bridge

Anchorages of the Brooklyn Bridge

Inside the foundations on the Brooklyn side, bridge designer John A. Roebling had envisioned a shopping arcade, called the Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage. 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.”

The functional use of the anchorages is to secure the cables that span and essentially hold up the bridge. The cable strands are bolted into rod-iron eye-bar chains encased inside the masonry of the anchorage and then an anchor plate holds the end of each chain in place.