|George August Haupt of New York City|
|George August Haupt was the first to conceive of the idea of connecting the three boroughs of Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan by a bridge. Today, the city has the Triborough Bridge which was opened on July 11, 1936.
George A. Haupt was born Jan. 4, 1870 in Manhattan. He was a son of the immigrant August Haupt and his wife Amalia Auguste (Fischer) Haupt. He was christened at the 1st German Presbyterian Church on Rivington Street on June 18, 1871.
August Haupt (b. 1840) arrived in New York at the age of 14 on August 9, 1854 on the ship "Louisiana". He arrived with his parents Andreas (b. 1815) and Anne (b. 1820) along with his brothers Ernst Henrich (b. 1837) and Carl Gottfried Heinrich (b. 1850). They were from Eisenach in Saxony-Weimar.
Although George August Haupt was born in Manhattan, he would later move to the Harlem area around 120th Street which at the time had a high percentage of German immigrants.
As a past time, he enjoyed fishing in the East River. In 1909, he and his fishing buddies were discussing the problem the mostly poor people in the Bronx and Queens had in trying to get to Manhattan. The idea hit. George goes home and constructs his first of two models of a bridge to connect the three boroughs.
Ultimately, the Triborough Bridge would be constructed and opened in 1936. It consisted of three bridges, a viaduct, and 14 miles of approach roads connecting the three boroughs.
By this time George was living in Queens. He had to change his residence in 1921 as a school was being built at the site of his previous address in Harlem.
The lead engineer on the project and the politicians were all at the opening celebration. George, however, was not invited. During a speech at the dedication of the bridge, the comment was made that it did not matter who thought of the bridge first. What really mattered was that the bridge was completed.
George August Haupt (now age 66) was somewhat iritated by this as it did matter to him. Mayor LaGuardia, upon learning of his unhappiness, sent him a program from the opening ceremony.
Still it can be said that George August Haupt was the "Father of the Triborough Bridge". In 1936, he was still in possession of his 2nd model and had maintained all the letters and documents as evidence of his efforts in presenting his idea to others.