New app by builder’s descendant gives tour of Brooklyn Bridge

New app by builder’s descendant gives tour of Brooklyn Bridge
Roebling’s Brooklyn Bridge Tour

Finally! An app about the Brooklyn Bridge built by a descendant of the builders of the Brooklyn Bridge!

The great-great grandson of the husband-and-wife team that led the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge has joined with his wife to build a smartphone app that tells the story of Brooklyn’s most iconic structure from the time it was conceived until today.

Kristian Roebling has teamed with his wife to design “Roebling’s Brooklyn Bridge Tour” is available for $1.99 in the Apple AppStore and Google Play. It includes a map of interesting features of the Bridge, a gallery of historical archives, and a video-and-audio tour of the New York City landmark, which opened in 1883 — filling a gap that has left many iPhone users without a tool to easily learn about the Bridge.

“I was disappointed to find that my ancestor’s bridge wasn’t very effectively represented in the app world,” he wrote in an e-mail. “As a result, my wife and I set out to create a truly comprehensive, flexible and multi-functional Brooklyn Bride tour app for people who want to explore and learn about the Bridge using their phones rather than tour books or live guides.”

The tour is narrated by Roebling, a Brooklyn Bridge historian, documentary filmmaker, and trustee of the Roebling Museum, which includes some family history mixed in with the architectural details.

Like the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, the app was made by a husband and wife team. Roebling’s spouse, Meg Pullis, provided the app design — something, Roebling said, would have “thrilled ‘Washy’ and Emily.”

Washington Roebling took over as chief engineer of the Bridge after his father, John Roebling died from lock-jaw after his foot was crushed on a while standing on a piling during the early stages of construction. As chief engineer, Washington suffered from numerous cases of the bends — called caisson disease back then — which left him mostly home bound. During that time, his wife played a major role in the Bridge’s completion.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.