by Kevin Walsh

Here’s a photo looking south over the Cropsey Avenue Bridge in 1936. The bridge was constructed in 1931.  A bascule bridge, it can lift in the center to allow boats to pass; rarely is that function necessary anymore on little-trafficked creek. Unlike the truss Stillwell Avenue Bridge that was replaced in the 1980s, this bridge is still in place today and looks about the same.


The railings and Art Deco abutments, featuring a bit of terra cotta, are still in place, and even three of the old Machine Age lampposts with exposed bolts are still there, though they stopped carrying lights after a 1990s renovation.

Some photos from Coney Island Creek can be found here.



Alan Gregg Cohen June 24, 2014 - 7:53 pm

In looking at current Google Map views, in addition to the changes you noted to the bridge, it appears the original inside lane bridge rails for both northbound and southbound traffic have been changed, and Jersey walls have been added to the sides of both the northbound and southbound spans of the bridge.

Bill Tweeddale June 27, 2014 - 6:52 am

Is that a barrier of some type floating in the water in the bridge photo?

Kevin July 10, 2015 - 9:15 am

yes, I lived in Coney Island from 1989 on and still go back once a week to visit family. that is a floating barrier similar to what you’d find at some beaches and in some pools. not really sure what for, as I’ve never seen boats of any kind going through that creek.

Richard DeVuono August 9, 2017 - 12:00 pm

I lived on Stillwell Ave from 1942 to 1952. I remember watching the bridge open sideways. The was an old PT boat that a creepy guy lived on parked just past the bridge where there used to be a gas station. Does anyone have a picture of the old bridge?

I am writing a screenplay that takes place in Coney Island and would love to have a pic for reference. If any body from that era that lived in C.I. please contact and we can reminisce.

Lowell F Wolf July 10, 2018 - 3:40 pm

If you go to the Wheeler Shipbuilding Company website they have an old picture of the bridge in an upward position. Wheeler built pleasure craft, as well as small naval craft during the two world wars, in the location of what is now a Stop and Shop Supermarket parking lot north-east of the bridge. Two of the three arguably most famous boats in Cuban history were manufactured by Wheeler’s Cropsey Avenue shipyard: Ernest Hemingway’s Pilar (the supposed inspiration for the Old Man and the Sea), and the Granmar, from which the Castros launched their successful revolution. Both boats are now museum displays in the Havana metro area. The other famous ship was also a Brooklyn creation, though from Fort Greene (Brooklyn Navy Yard), the USS Maine. It lies on the ocean bottom three miles north of Havana harbor.

Lowell F Wolf July 10, 2018 - 3:44 pm Reply
yellow submarine March 10, 2020 - 4:01 am


Miriam Bonni Roseman December 11, 2020 - 5:43 pm

My Father was the bridge operator for many “moons” on the Cropsey Ave. bridge and had a book published on the works and everything else you can imagine about bascule bridges.

He made a small bascule bridge which I never saw and wonder what happened to it.


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