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Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc.

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Museums and Historic Sites

Bow Bridge, Central Park

New York NY, 2008




Built between 1859 and 1862 to the design of Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould, Bow Bridge is currently one of the oldest extant wrought iron girder bridges in the United States. Its name refers to its profile in elevation, which is shaped like that of an archer’s bow. The bridge rises to a full 9’-6” above the water level and spans more than 87 feet across the Lake. Records indicate that the firm of Janes, Kirtland, & Co. Iron Works of the Bronx produced and installed the original ironwork for the span, with additional materials provided by the J.B. and W.W. Cornell Foundry.

The Central Park Conservancy hired JHPA to produce a comprehensive condition assessment of the bridge structure and cladding to provide the agency with guidance for maintenance and restoration planning. The report format and investigation techniques are intended to provide a template for future assessments of each of Central Park’s distinctive cast iron bridges.