Walkway Over the Hudson Oral History Project
By Samantha Cariani
I am a recent graduate of Marist College with a Political Science major and a Paralegal Certificate. As a student I was involved in different internships including one abroad in London where I worked for Hammersmith and Fulham Community Law Centre the spring semester of my junior year. I first became involved with the HRVI while assisting Dr. Geoffrey Brackett, Executive Vice President of Marist College, on his book project about the Hudson River. After graduation I decided to continue my work as a research assistant with the Hudson River Valley Institute.
I began the summer working on the Walkway Over the Hudson Oral History project. To make sure that the history of the Walkway project is preserved, the HRVI, in conjunction with the Walkway Over the Hudson Organization and Dyson Foundation, have interviewed over thirty-five individuals who have some affiliation with the project and bridge. The interviews were conducted from 2008-2009. As I edited and placed the different interviews conducted on the HRVI’s Youtube channel, I discovered the many different factors and opinions involved that made the bridge what it is today. Here are some of my favorites:
Edmond Loedy’s interpretation of what should be on the bridge when finished was ambitious; he essentially wanted to have a city on top of the bridge. There would be housing on the bridge, businesses, museums, and restaurants. While his plan never came to be, the thought of potentially having these elements on a bridge was exciting to learn about. For Edmond Loedy’s complete interview click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P7A5X6fenk
Carleton Mabee, who is the author of such works as Bridging the Hudson: The Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge and its Connecting Lines, also provided a unique perspective. He describes in great detail some of the stories of the Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge before it became the Walkway Over the Hudson. Stories included everything from FDR’s involvement to how difficult and dangerous it was to paint the bridge. The historical background that he presents is extremely fascinating and insightful. For Carleton Mabee’s entire interview click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0zD5VPkEKE
For more information about the Walkway Over the Hudson please follow the link to the organization website: https://www.walkway.org/
To hear more interviews on the Walkway Over the Hudson Oral History click here to the Hudson River Valley Institute’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOrIrty1srmbXAmrH601v-Q