In the spring of 2007, a group of civic minded individuals realized that several of New York City’s bridges were approaching their 100th anniversary. In order to commemorate the significance of these magnificent spans and their role in making New York City the greatest metropolis in the world, the group formed the NYC Bridge Centennial Commission, a 501 (c) 3 corporation.
The aim of the Commission is to promote the 100th year anniversary of six historic New York City bridges, to educate the public about the bridges’ role in the life of the city, to encourage respect for the history of New York City; to heighten the public’s awareness of the City’s infrastructure and the need to maintain it; and to stimulate the interest of the public in celebrating the centennial of these six bridges.
In cooperation with the Office of the Mayor, the Offices of the Borough Presidents of Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Parks and Recreations, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Department of Records and Information Services, Hunter College, La Guardia Community College and non-profit groups and private citizens, the NYC Bridge Centennial Commission is preparing a set of six bronze medallions commemorating each bridge and will be sponsoring exhibits, lectures, walking, bicycle and boat tours and will produce a program for each bridge celebration. Some of the components of the celebration include: FDNY Fireboat spectacular; a parade of antique cars; band concerts; a film festival; lectures, banners and audio-visual presentations.
The New York City Bridge Centennial Commission lost a dear and dedicated friend in April 2011. Bernie Ente left us all too soon but as he touched us all in so many ways his spirit will live with us forever.
Bernie was a dedicated community advocate, professional photographer, historian and friend to all of NYC’s 750+ bridges. We had the pleasure of getting to know Bernie very well over the last few years through our work with the NYC Bridge Centennial Commission. Bernie’s experience as a historian and his extraordinary skills as a professional photographer were a priceless. Bernie spent countless hours organizing and guiding our walking tours and boat tours and taking larger than life photos of our city’s infrastructure. Many of his photos are featured throughout this website.
We will always remember the youthful energy and free spirit that Bernie brought to all of our bridge events. Bernie is survived by his wife Joanna, and his daughter Emma.