Connecting Sunnyside to Brooklyn - the Kosciuszko Bridge:
While the Kosciuszko bridge was not in Sunnyside, some of you have mentioned traveling it to school, going to ball games, making visits, etc. in the day. Opened in August 1939, the older truss bridge replaced a swing bridge called the Meeker Avenue Bridge, which connected Meeker Avenue in Brooklyn to Laurel Hill Boulevard in Queens. The old Kosciuszko Bridge, also called the Meeker Avenue Bridge, carried six lanes of traffic, three in each direction. In 1940, a year after opening, the bridge was renamed after Polish military leader Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who fought alongside the Americans in the American Revolutionary War. The bridge was replaced in April 2017.
I'm sure I'm not the only Sunnysider who has many memories of getting to Brooklyn on a bus rather than the long arduous subway trip through Manhattan. My mom and I did this many times to visit my uncle Izzy, (her brother) in Williamsburg. Must have also used this route to get to Ebbets Field to watch the Dodgers….How many others did this? Later, after having a car, driving over it.
I was a Kosciuszko Bridge regular. Morty Bitterbaum lived close across 47th Street and taught at Brooklyn Technical High School. As a student there ca. 1950, I'd hitch a ride in with him 2-3 mornings per week and that bridge was a critical part of our route. The other mornings, and all afternoons, I'd use the IND "Cross-Town" (G?) train that did NOT circle around through Manhattan.
I remember the old bridge as an ugly bump in an ugly elevated roadway over ugly Newton Creek and associated junkyards, sometimes with ugly smells as an accompaniment. I believe that Newton Creek had the technical distinction of having the greatest ship tonnage per mile of any waterway in the world. It was stockpiling NYC's fuel oil and chemicals, maybe more - and it's short.
Ruth Horowitz: I remember crossing the bridge my mother called the Meeker Avenue Bridge on days she took me to visit Girls High School where she was a teacher. It was a foul-smelling industrial area. I held my breath going over.
Here is a link to Hank Linhart's website about Blissville, with a video clip from the dismantling of the bridge:
Feel free to add your comment on this or any other subject in the comments box. I will organize comments by subject, and add to them to the website as they come up.