Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: What’s inside the Brooklyn Bridge?

October 25, 2015

Starry Night Brooklyn Bridge | UncommonGoods

Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the first bridge to connect Manhattan and Brooklyn. Beneath its anchorages, engineers built hidden vaults up to 50 feet tall. Over time, these were used for a variety of purposes. Thanks to their cool temperatures, the granite-walled storage spaces made the perfect wine cellars and they were rented out to the public until World War I. The Brooklyn side vaults ran for $500 per month in rent, while the cushier Manhattan side went for $5,000 per month to the Luyties Brothers liquor distributor. During the Cold War, another compartment was turned into a survival shelter and was stocked with food, water, and medical supplies. People kind of forgot about the makeshift shelter and the rations were finally rediscovered during a routine structural inspection in 2006. Today, the vaults are used to store maintenance equipment—a slightly less romantic, if not practical, purpose.

Starry Night Brooklyn Bridge | $95 – $185

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