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Rockland Exhibit Displays Photos Of Original Tappan Zee Bridge Construction

The Nyack Historical Society will present a photographic history of the building of the first Tappan Zee Bridge.
The Nyack Historical Society will present a photographic history of the building of the first Tappan Zee Bridge. Photo Credit: Wikipedia.com

ORANGETOWN, N.Y. -- The Nyack Historical Society will present the Tappan Zee Bridge ‘52—‘55 Photographs by Leonard Cooke on Sundays through November.

The Fall exhibition will feature photographs of the construction of the original Tappan Zee Bridge taken 1952 to 1955 by Leonard Cooke of Nyack. Cooke took frequent progress photographs from his boat and from other vantage points, and he selected a set from a large number of views on which he provided his comments that tell the step-by-step story of the construction of the bridge. The photographs were believed lost for decades, but after the deaths of Cooke and his wife, the photographs were found in the attic of their home.

Cooke was co-founder (with Walter Blount, Sr.) of the Nyack NAACP and served as its President for many years. He was an active campaigner for Civil Rights, equal housing opportunities and the hiring of African-American teachers in the Nyack Public Schools. Mr. Cooke was an also an accomplished photographer, musician, composer and artist. Employed as a machinist at the General Motors Plant in Sleepy Hollow, he often commuted across the Hudson River on his motorboat, which gave him a close-up view of the bridge construction.

The event will run from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays at the Nyack Library, 50 Piermont Ave. A companion exhibit in the Carnegie-Farian room of the library titled “Building the Tappan Zee Bridge," will also be featured.

For more info about the Historical Society and to become a member, please visit www.nyackhistory.org .

Admission is free; donations are appreciated.

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