Oak Bridge at Bank Rock Bay
This footbridge crossing Bank Rock Bay was originally built of white oak, hence its early name, Oak Bridge. In 2009, the Conservancy recreated the bridge using historic photographs and original drawings.
Designed by Calvert Vaux, Oak Bridge is one of the larger and more elegant of the Park's wooden bridges, it featured panels of decorative cast iron set in the railings. Created as one of the major entrance to the Ramble, it's become one of the most popular Park destinations for bird watchers and offers one of the best views of the Park and the famous New York City skyline.
The bridge suffered repeated rounds of deterioration and restoration through the years. It was replaced in 1935 and restored over the ensuing years from an entirely utilitarian perspective. The Conservancy completed its re-creation and restoration using historic photographs, archival records, and Vaux's original drawings. Almost entirely built anew, the bridge project marked the Conservancy's most complex reconstruction of an original Park structure. The new bridge is built of steel clad with ornamental castings, and its decking and railings made of wood. The stone abutments and piers that act as supports for the bridge are the only remaining elements of the historic bridge.