Thursday, June 11, 2015


New York City's oldest bridge and the original High Line that connects Manhattan to Bronx is now opened to the public after being closed for over 40 years.  Harlem residents can now take a subway or a bike ride to see the 140 feet high aqueduct structure over the Harlem River that was built in 1848 to support a large pipe within that used the historic tower on the Washington Heights side as the pressure mechanism to supply the city with water.  In the early 1900s, the bridge path was the destination in the city for a weekend stroll which included watching the horse carriages racing on the speedway down below.  History has now gone full circle and those living uptown can take a walk on the bridge from 7:00AM to 8:00PM each day and see the breathtaking river views.

The A, C or 1 train to 168th Street is the quickest route and one just has to walk over a couple of Avenues east to Amsterdam and 172nd Street.   On the south side of the High Bridge pool house, there is a winding path that makes it way one block north to the back end of the soaring historic water tower where one will find newly established steep steps that will lead to the bridge at roughly 173rd Street.  Before going on to the actual bridge, make sure to take a glimpse of the grand steel arch that replaced some of smaller romanesque masonry arcs to make way for large ships back in the 1920s.

Everything has been restored to a pristine condition probably not seen in over a century and one will marvel at the herringbone brick path lined with traditional lamp poles now powered by electricity instead of gas.  There is a slight convex curve to the path which is a bit jarring to those afraid of heights but the new decorative and protective gates are all in place which look much nicer than the typical chain link fences.

When arriving on the Bronx side, the original stone steps can be found at the right of entrance and views of the 10 original stone bridge arches can be seen in all their glory.  Those stoney stairs have seen better days so be careful when walking down that path.  When walking back to the Manhattan side, check out the historic round plates that serve as a timeline of the bridge and are a great educational tool for the families out there.  This is another uptown treasure that is not such a tourist trap as the High Line downtown so make sure to check out this must see landmark in the summer months.


  1. This look great. Do you have any food recommendation once your out in that area.

    1. There is nothing really fancy but the Broadway corridor by 168th Street has a lot of choices for a casual bite. A chino latino diner called La Dinastia comes to mind.

    2. El Malecon on Broadway and 175th Street for great Dominican Food
      Heights Tavern 164th and Broadway

  2. For anyone interested, there are a number of great locations available for a nice restaurant on Amsterdam Ave between 120th and 175th St. Come on, the bridge is open, now you can built your restaurant and have a monopoly on the traffic near the Park and Bridge.

  3. I found this very interesting as I have a copy of a very early image of the bridge with a pony and trap in the foreground. I use it to illustrate a talk I give on the War of 1812 as Col. Thomas Barclay, the agent for British PoWs supposedly lived nearby. BBHistory Buff, Plymouth, England