The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

VerrazanoNarrowsBridgeThe Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is celebrating its 50th birthday this November. The author Gay Talese chronicled, over a 5-year period, both the building of the bridge and the lives of bridge workers for the New York Times. From that arose his book describing the building of the bridge, entitled oddly enough, The Bridge: The Building of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge,  originally published in 1964, soon after the bridge opened.TheBridge

The book is being reissued in October with an updated introduction by the author.

In writing the book, Mr. Talese stood atop one of the 70-story towers, walked across the 2-mile catwalk holding on by a steel rope “banister” and hung around the ironworkers in Brooklyn bars, getting to know them.  According to a New York Times article, “He wanted to tell stories of anonym0us people who do “useful, lasting work” and was drawn to the bridge workers.”

So, if you’re in a hurry to read The Bridge, you can check out our 1964 edition of the book. If not, wait until the updated edition is published and check that out. Either way, it should be fascinating reading.

A piece of trivia: The two 695-foot towers are 1 5/8″ farther apart at their summit than at their bases because of the curvature of the earth.

– posted by Ed, Reference Services


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