Verrazano Narrows Bridge

By on February 6, 2015 -- Modified on October 4, 2016

I decided, for the 50th birthday of the Verrazano Bridge, to put together a model. I always loved the bridge; I lived in its shadow in Brooklyn for years and now live on Staten Island, so I use it often. Being a 2 year dad, I get little time to work on it, and when I do, my little girl sometimes “helps.” ūüôā So it’s¬†certainly not perfect, and is more of a diorama than scale model.

Most materials I already had. The towers are foam core and construction paper. The trusses are balsa wood painted with acrylic. Roadbed is oaktag with lines painted. The cables are of slightly sparkly plastic necklace wire from a craft store, the hanging cables are thread. Railings are thinly cut strips of corrugated plastic craft board. (I’m most proud of this discovery.) Elmers Glue worked throughout. The grey base is a piece of plastic siding found in my yard after cleaning out the basement after Sandy. I screwed that to a piece of wood I found on a stoop in Brooklyn.¬†Scenery on either end is foam core, styrofoam, and acrylic paint with lichen “trees”…but I used a piece of a straw, painted white, for the lighthouse.

The necklace wire hung pretty well. The difficult part was attaching each thread (tying a knot) and¬†getting each thread to hang¬†straight, while maintaining the graceful curve of the cables. I had to resort to sometimes taping a penny to each cable as a weight, then putting a dot of glue between the thread and the superstructure…and cutting the penny off after it dried. I still had to redo several of them. If I¬†made the thread too tight, it bent the main cable more sharply. A real delicate balancing game! I think next time I might just make the cables complete stiff cut-outs like some kits¬†I’ve seen…unless I’m on a long retreat with monks and have time to meditate with thread and tweezers!

I should note that I’m also a bridge illustrator,¬†providing custom invitations in pen and ink for Lion in the Sun paperie in Park Slope, Brooklyn. My¬†Brooklyn Bridge…done for my own wedding…is their most popular design.

Thanks for giving me a place to post these!

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