the brooklyn bridge

Brooklyn Bridge Footbridge

Construction on the Brooklyn tower began in 1870, and the bridge opened in May of 1883. The views above and immediately below show the footbridges used by workers to access the towers while under construction; the top-hatted figure in the image below is either Washington Roebling, the second chief engineer, or EF Farrington, the master mechanic.

Do Not Run Jump Or Trot

Brooklyn Bridge Footbridge
When the character Frank Harris first seeks work on the bridge, the East River is frozen over, precluding the passage of ferries, and the towers are mere stumps rising from the East River.
The 1871 icebridge

The towers as mere stumps
Workers on the Brooklyn Tower, from <i>Harper's Weekly</i>
Above, masons work on top of the Brooklyn tower while the higher-ups take a fresh-air meeting. For more on the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, see David McCulloch's nonfiction classic The Great Bridge or my audio guide and walking tour The Brooklyn Bridge, from City to Metropolis.