Thursday, October 22, 2009

Walkway over the Hudson

We took a walk on Tuesday on the newly opened Walkway over the Hudson. What used to be an imposing but forbidding obsolete railroad bridge has now become a kind of high-rise linear zócalo.

People of all ages and backgrounds promenade the 1.3 mile extent of concrete-surfaced walkway laid over the cantilevered iron structure or take the 3.6 mile loop across and back via Mid-Hudson Bridge. The views are mostly uninterrupted by high fences, allowing glorious views of Poughkeepsie, New York, hundreds of feet below in the full splendour of fall color.

Offical website with more information and pictures.
YouTube video about the history of the Walkway.


Steve said...

Great sketch, especially like the dog with shadow. Good to see old, elegant infrastructure resurrected and embraced. And, thanks for introducing me to the word "zocalo."

p.s. My word verification was "couth" which beats being uncouth.

Unknown said...

Jim....your sketch and short description makes me want to someday go visit and see the "glorious"

James Robins said...

I'm fascinated by these recycled edifices to our industrial and transport past(s), around Bath/Bristol in the UK SW, we're surrounded by them, old railtracks, viaducts, even a mile long tunnel, now preserved as footpaths and cycleways - and Poughkeepsie must be one of the most enigmatic placenames ever. J

Erik Bongers said...

Coincidently, last weekend here in Antwerp we had a referendum about building a bridge or a tunnel. For cars, not pedestrians.
The bridge project was rejected.
One of the main arguments that played was the social impact of lots of traffic too close to houses.

One thing I got to understand during our little Antwerp Bridge War was that a bridge may be beautiful from on top, from far away...but never from close by and defenitely not from below.

The ink drawing of this post kinda proves my point. A bridge will always look like a War-of-the-Worlds creature from below.

Nevertheless, this walkway looks like a nice idea.

Unknown said...

I like that this sketch is almost entirely monochromatic -- with just a dash of red.

James Gurney said...

Steve, I was thinking of the zocalos or town squares of Mexico, which are places for kids, lovers, and old folks to see and be seen. Much needed in our car world.

James and Erik, yes, this thing was seen by many as an eyesore before its conversion, and it would have been torn down, but it would have just cost too much to get rid of it. Now it promises to be the number 1 tourist attraction of this city-with-a-funny-name.

Erik, the only real problem I can see is that this bridge looks down into a lot of back yards, which means a few dozen families have lost their privacy.

Also, there's the potential issue of suicides. Let's hope that doesn't happen, and if it does, let's hope they don't put a big high fence around all the railings, because it will spoil the view.

Marianne said...

Thanks for showing your sketches!
I think my favourite it the Maintenance Man.