Art: Beautiful Bridge

And Thee, across the harbor, silver-paced . . .

(How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!) . . .

Hart Crane (1930).

To engineers and architects, Hart

Crane's rhapsody to Brooklyn Bridge was an unscientific, rummy rodomontade. They considered Brooklyn Bridge an antique, remarkable for its historical associations (it was built by rule of thumb), esthetically redeemed only by its brute strength.

Since Brooklyn Bridge, suspension bridge spans have grown nearly three times longer, traffic loads have quadrupled, construction time has been cut to a fifth.

Basic reasons: new alloy steels, vast technical advancement in...

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