Best Pedestrian Footbridge To A Mental Institution (2008)


A true architectural monolith extending from the coastal plain of southern Spanish Harlem, the WARDS ISLAND FOOTBRIDGE provides a view that encompasses the East Side of Manhattan and much of Queens, including a stretch of rather inoffensive water known as Hell Gate. Once across the bridge, one is treated to Wards Island Park, a lovely bit of tree and trail with a badass reputation. But the real treats are the Wards Island Water Pollution Plant and the Manhattan Psychiatric Center. For a good many years prior to the turn of the last century, immigrants arriving in New York deemed undesirable, (i.e., poor or sick), were sent here to live. As the number of "insane inmates" grew, eventually the island was dedicated to housing, behind a fair amount of intimidating fencing, some of the city's most neglected citizens. Fortunately, this didn't stop the footbridge from being granted a cameo role in The Wiz, starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.


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