"Together, the uniting forces of our communication and transportation systems are dynamic elements in the very name we bear—United States. Without them, we would be a mere alliance of many separate parts."
-- Dwight Eisenhower
A Tribute to the Engineers, Architects, Sate, Local and Municipal Employees, Technicians, Foremen and Construction Workers
The Verrazano Bridge Memorial Trust was started by children and grandchildren of some the civil engineers, architects, technicians and New York City municipal employees who worked with Othmar H. Ammann, Milton Brumer (chief engineer), Frank L. Stahl (project engineer), Herb Rothman (project engineer), Leopold H. Just (design engineer), John W. Kinney (engineer of construction) and other senior engineers during the various phases of design and construction, from 1958 until 1964.
My father, Nicola Y. Firzli Sr., an alumnus of the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science at the University of Oklahoma (OU), worked under John Kinney and John Murphy: he was one of three site engineers working on the Staten Island side of the bridge in 1963 during the “cable spinning” phase of construction.
We plan to conduct in-depth interviews with the surviving participants in the construction of the Verrazano Bridge to compile an “oral history” of this architectural landmark with their help and then gather them in New York on November 29 2016 for the christening of a commemorative plaque in tribute to all the engineers, architects, sate and municipal employees, technicians, foremen and construction workers associated with the history of the bridge.
Chief Engineer Othmar H. Ammann (March 26, 1879 – September 22, 1965) was a Swiss-German-American structural engineer who pioneered the use of advanced construction materials to build colossal suspension bridges and tunnels across New York State, including the George Washington Bridge, the Triborough Bridge connecting Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx, and his masterworks, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge that links Brooklyn to Staten Island.
Spanning three generations of US civil engineers and architects, the experts who worked at his sides transformed the New York skyline and helped create some of the most remarkable architectural landmarks in America.