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Old 08-19-2008, 11:06 PM   #1
vanshnookenraggen
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The day I took a tour of the George Washington Bridge

This summer I have been working as an intern in the planning department for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. As a perk they gave all the interns an opportunity to take a tour of some of their facilities. As an experienced urban explorer I knew there was only one place I wanted to check out, the George Washington Bridge.


















This is the elevator we took up. All that separated us from the world was a mesh cage.




Fort Lee, NJ


Climbing out to the very top. The guys on the right and left are bridge painters who gave us the tour.


They told us stories about when the elevator would break down and they would have to climb all the way down with no net or rope.


Through this view finder you could see the other great New York bridges as well as the Statue of Liberty.


The George Washington Bridge is the most heavily trafficked bridge in the US.


This guy was a character. Specifically Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.




Yonkers across the river.


Security is very important.







For the rest, here is my Flickr.
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:08 PM   #2
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Re: The day I took a tour of the George Washington Bridge

Great photos. Thanks for sharing them.

You are very lucky to have been granted access to a place very few people will ever see.

That said, as a person deathly afraid of heights, you couldn't pay me enough money to get me to go up there.
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:41 AM   #3
Beton Brut
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Re: The day I took a tour of the George Washington Bridge

Wild stuff, Van. Yet another example of Cass Gilbert's genius. In seeing the structure up close, it's a good thing that the Depression precluded cladding the towers in stone as was originally planned.
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:44 AM   #4
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Re: The day I took a tour of the George Washington Bridge

Amazing adventure and pix, van; I don't see how you could do it. Are you part Native American?

All that trusswork is hypnotic. This one is my favorite:

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Posted a link to this thread on Wired New York.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:42 AM   #5
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Re: The day I took a tour of the George Washington Bridge

The subject is interesting, but the photography really makes it spectacular. Kudos, Van. Thanks for posting these.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:45 AM   #6
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Re: The day I took a tour of the George Washington Bridge



Are there not some OSHA guidelines that would require this gentleman to wear a harness of some sort? I get a bit ill just looking at this picture.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:57 AM   #7
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Re: The day I took a tour of the George Washington Bridge

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Are there not some OSHA guidelines that would require this gentleman to wear a harness of some sort?
Probably. Falling at this height might cause serious injury or death.

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I get a bit ill just looking at this picture.
I don't suppose I could convince you to try BASE jumping, statler? I've always wanted t give it a try.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:21 AM   #8
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Re: The day I took a tour of the George Washington Bridge

If we were meant to jump out of planes and off of tall structures, we would have been given wings.

Oddly enough, I'm actually fine with heights, it's falling I'm terrified of. Which is why the picture of the worker bothers me more than the shots looking straight down.
I can spend all day with my nose pressed up against the glass in the Pru Skywalk, but I can't paint the gables of my little two story house.
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:12 PM   #9
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Re: The day I took a tour of the George Washington Bridge

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Wild stuff, Van. Yet another example of Cass Gilbert's genius. In seeing the structure up close, it's a good thing that the Depression precluded cladding the towers in stone as was originally planned.

Cass Gilbert DID NOT design the GWB. He was retained for designing the stone and masonry that was supposed to be installed on the steelwork. He also designed the stonework that was supposed to be installed on the abutments for the Bayonne Bridge, but also due to the depression the stonework was left off. It was Othmar Ammann, Leon Moisseiff and Alston Dana that designed the steelwork for the GWB. I personally know their families.
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:48 PM   #10
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Re: The day I took a tour of the George Washington Bridge

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Cass Gilbert DID NOT design the GWB. He was retained for designing the stone and masonry that was supposed to be installed on the steelwork. He also designed the stonework that was supposed to be installed on the abutments for the Bayonne Bridge, but also due to the depression the stonework was left off. It was Othmar Ammann, Leon Moisseiff and Alston Dana that designed the steelwork for the GWB.
True enough.

Mis-attribution of the bridge to Gilbert is common. The steel work is so beautiful, we can probably be grateful the Depression intervened to prevent Gilbert's "contribution." Though I'm sure it would have looked just fine, it was clearly superfluous.
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Old 08-24-2008, 06:19 PM   #11
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Re: The day I took a tour of the George Washington Bridge

If you would like to see some images I have been taking of the GWB, please check out my website at www.davefrieder.com This is a project that I have been working on for 15 years at this point.
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Old 08-24-2008, 06:44 PM   #12
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Re: The day I took a tour of the George Washington Bridge

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Cass Gilbert DID NOT design the GWB.
I stand corrected -- thanks.

This more modest (but still handsome) example from 1924 is up the river. I've been a fan since I first crossed it in 1989.

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Old 08-25-2008, 12:17 PM   #13
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Re: The day I took a tour of the George Washington Bridge

Thanks for the views! I am jealous of your internship.
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