In the New Year, we make resolutions that enable us to transform our lives in positive ways. In art and literature, bridges are symbolic of changes we make to move from one phase of life to another. Throughout our lifetime, we cross many bridges. At Branch Brook Park in Newark, New Jersey, there are nineteen bridges. The best time to visit the park and view the bridges is during the spring and fall. In the spring, you will see the cherry blossoms in pastel colors adding a romantic touch to the bridges in the background. The blossoms in the fall have leaves in bold colors that add great character to the bridges.
John Merven Carrere and Thomas Hastings designed all the bridges at Branch Brook Park. Carrere and Hastings, who were two renowned architects, who both studied at Ecole nationale superleure des Beaux-Arts, who both worked at the firm of McKim, Mead and White before they started their firm in the same building, began their firm in New York City on November 8, 1858. They were both very successful and designed many buildings and homes throughout the United States including the House and Senate office buildings in Washington, the New York Public Library and the Manhattan Bridge. Carrere and Hastings won the competition to design the New York Public Library in 1897. Carrere died in a car accident on March 1, 1911. As a result of the tragedy, the partnership between Carrere and Hastings ended. Hastings still continued to run the firm under the same name until his death on October 23, 1929.
Branch Brook Park Road Bridge and Park Avenue Bridge at Branch Brook Park in Newark are beautiful structures that add so much life to the park as well as the other 17 bridges. Carrere and Hastings had a vision of architectural greatness that will continue to impress tourists, Newarkers and future generations to come.