The Williamsburg Bridge has spanned the East River since 1903, connecting what’s now Brooklyn’s most notoriously hipster neighbourhood to Manhattan. In the 1980s, the bridge was in serious disrepair — and architects wanted to replace it with a mirror-finish masterpiece topped with a restaurant. Imagine the view!
DRC Consultants Inc., Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas Inc. and Der Scutt, architects, teamed up to create the design. It envisioned a bridge with towers wrapped in reflective panels, “giving the appearance of a warm, cinnamon-coloured reflective jewel in the East River, bringing a new elegance and new life to the surrounding areas in Manhattan and Brooklyn.” Inverted triangle structures atop the bridge’s 456-foot towers would house a two-story restaurant on the Brooklyn side, and a bridge museum on the Manhattan side.
The plan was never realised: rather than replacing the bridge, city leaders decided to refurbish it in a series of construction projects that continue to this day. But it’s fascinating to imagine what it would have been like to have lunch on top of the Williamsburg Bridge.
Images: Der Scutt Architect