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Gapstow Bridge (1875)


Gapstow Bridge, Central Park.

This is a cyanotype, an early type of photograph. Click "View this photo at..." for link to purchase larger prints of this image from mcny.org. (License note: This use allowed per http://mcny.org/licensing.)

ca. 1880, Augustus Hepp, Museum of the City of New York, X2010.11.1550

View this photo at collections.mcny.org

BH Photo #416934


Originally, Gapstow was a wooden bridge supported by the unique feature of a large segmental arch of wood on the north and south sides, both arches springing from ledges on the stone abutments. Along the wood walkway of the bridge the railings were of cast iron. Each of the repeated motifs was composed of a half circle topped by a pointed arch, with the spandrel spaces filled by verticals to meet the hand railing. The center section set off by the intersection of the support arch was figured with three cinquefoils.

Gapstow was a unique design using wood and cast-iron trimming, drawn for this commanding site over the Pond, in the picturesque landscape of the Park. It was to last a little more than a score of years. Conjecture has it that wear and tear were simply too much. (http://www.echonyc.com/~parks/books/bridges13.html)


Lost Arch bridge over The Pond on Trail
New York City, New York County, New York
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1875; Replaced by current bridge 1896
- Jacob Wrey Mould of Chislehurst, Kent, England, United Kingdom
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.76696, -73.97386   (decimal degrees)
40°46'01" N, 73°58'26" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/586603/4513394 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Central Park
Inventory number
BH 64997 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 11, 2021: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added categories "Central Park", "Kingpost truss"
  • April 21, 2020: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • January 26, 2018: Photo imported by Roger Deschner
  • December 24, 2014: Added by Dave King

Related Bridges 



Gapstow Bridge (1875)
Posted November 10, 2020, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

In the new second photo, it looks like a kingpost truss was added after construction to strengthen the bridge. That is not in the first photo.