The New York Landmarks Conservancy recently announced the winners of the 2016 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards.
The iconic High Bridge connecting the Bronx to Manhattan will be recognized at an Thursday, April 28 ceremony as an outstanding restoration project.
This award is one of Landmarks most prestigious honors.
The High Bridge connects the two boroughs at Amsterdam Avenue and 173rd Street in Manhattan and at University Avenue and 170th Street in the Bronx.
The historic bridge was erected between 1839 and 1848, making it the oldest bridge in New York City.
Despite it’s historic significance the structure was closed off to the public for about 50 years.
Today, the enormous bridge spanning 1,450 feet has been restored and re-opened to pedestrians and bicyclists thanks to the preservation efforts of the city.
The bridge officially re-opened to the public in early June of last year, but will be recognized as a preservation achievement at the upcoming ceremony in April.
The restoration process included the removal of excess vegetation and the cleaning of the entire structure.
Mortar to fill the original stones was similar in appearance to the original cement mortar.
Pavers were installed to match existing ones on the deck.
While the bridge as a whole underwent vast improvements, the character of the structure was preserved.
For example, the steel arch of the bridge was painted to match the historic 1928 color, and four 1935 light poles were revamped for reuse at the two gatehouses.
Overgrown shrubbery on both sides of the bridge was pruned to improve views from the bridge. The area was also landscaped to include trees and wildflowers, welcoming walkers, joggers and cyclists.
Andrea Goldwyn of the New York Landmarks Conservancy said the organization received nominations from restoration projects across the city that have made great gains over the past year.
To determine which projects merit awards, the conservancy looks at the preservation work specifically and what the projects bring to communities.
According to Goldwyn, the High Bridge was deserving of the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award because of what it brings to surrounding neighborhoods.
“The bridge has reconnected communities (from the Bronx and Manhattan) that have been missing that connection for decades,” said Goldwyn, “This was a promise the city made and now it has been fulfilled.”