The noted historian David McCullough has a video op-ed at the New York Times defending the Brooklyn Bridge against the commercial interests trying to construct an eighteen-story building right next to the bridge. McCullough asks: How did such a building project get this far?
This is also the site where George Washington made his famous retreat in the fog during the Battle of Brooklyn in August 1776. Philip Vickers Fithian was part of that retreat. As he tells the story in his diary, he and his friend Andrew Hunter Jr. were sleeping in a boarding house nearby when the landlady announced that she was taking their beds because she was joining the retreat. Philip thought the lady was crazy–it was inconceivable that the great Washington would retreat. He gave her the bed and went back to sleep on the floor. When he woke up early the next morning the successful retreat was nearly finished. Fithian jumped on one of the last boats and made it safely across the East River. In other words, Fithian slept through the entire retreat and almost did not make it out alive. (Read about it all in The Way of Improvement Leads Home).
Here is a news story on McCullough’s fight to stop this new building project. David, what can we do to help?