Bridge Of Sighs Connects The Tombs and Criminal Courthouse- c. 1905
We are looking west from Centre Street to Franklin Street. Spanning Franklin Street is the Bridge of Sighs connecting the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building to the City Prison also known as The Tombs.
The name Bridge of Sighs comes from a bridge built in 1600 in Venice, Italy connecting the Doge’s Palace and the New Prison. The dubious story is that prisoners being transported from interrogation at the Doge’s Palace to prison would sigh when crossing the bridge upon seeing beautiful Venice.
The origin of the name “The Tombs” is tainted in apocrypha. Old prison guards at the original tombs building claimed that when the building first opened so many inmates committed suicide while in confinement that the prison was nicknamed The Tombs.
By The Book
The truth is much simpler. Continue reading