Cover image for Six bridges : the legacy of Othmar H. Ammann
Six bridges : the legacy of Othmar H. Ammann
Rastorfer, Darl.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
ix, 188 pages : illustrations ; 25 x 28 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TG25.N5 R37 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
TG25.N5 R37 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
TG25.N5 R37 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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Othmar Ammann created six long-span bridges in New York, as part of the region's interstate highway system. They came to define an epoch and shape the modern New York metropolis. This book shows the physical transformation of the city, the construction and the completed bridges.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

"It is a crime to build an ugly bridge," said Othmar Ammann, and the first span he built as an independent engineer, New York's George Washington Bridge, was among the elegant bridges recounted in Henry Petroski's fine Engineers of Dreams (1995). This handsome album summarizes Ammann's career and exhibits 200 photographs and design drawings of his principal achievements: the GW Bridge, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, the Throgs Neck Bridge, the Triborough Bridge, the Bayonne Bridge, and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Rastorfer's text provides the political context (especially the muscle of public works czar Robert Moses) surrounding the creation of these distinctive elements of New York's skyline, but Rastorfer is more enthused about Ammann's management of these bridges' construction and his contribution to their unique engineering elements and overall aesthetic. The black-and-white images exalt the artistic aspects of the bridges, proclaiming their beauty and vitality to the life of the city, while commemorating their immigrant Swiss designer. --Gilbert Taylor

Choice Review

Rastorfer, curator for the Cooper Hewitt Museum's exhibition Six Bridges, reflects on Ammann's career, particularly as it interacted with the design and construction of the major bridges that are central to the functioning of metropolitan New York's transportation system. The six bridges--George Washington, Bayonne, Triborough, Bronx-Whitestone, Throgs Neck, and Verrazano-Narrows--were designed and constructed between 1925 and '64. The illustrations, some 200 quality archival black-and-white photographs, portray the majestic beauty and complex engineering detail of the structures. An early chapter addresses Ammann the man to give some insight into how he evolved into a master bridge builder. Anyone who enjoys reading about modern bridges and the lives of their designers will find this fascinating reading and the illustrations worth a careful study. Related books include Henry Petroski's Engineers of Dreams (CH, Apr'96) and David Brown's Bridges (CH, Jun'94). Petroski includes Ammann in his list of bridge engineers who, in the last part of the 19th and first half of the 20th century, designed and constructed landmark bridges that joined the transportation system for the US. Six Bridges opens Ammann's contribution to much greater insight. An excellent coffee-table quality book, highly recommended for all libraries. All levels. W. C. Schnobrich; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign