Florida Keys' Century Old Bridge Gets a Makeover

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Program Type:

Lecture

Age Group:

Adults

Program Description

Event Details

Learn about Henry Flagler's construction of famous "8th Wonder of the World", the Key West Railroad Extension and its Seven Mile Bridge, a short lived dream come true, connecting Miami and Key West via train. Learn about its demise from the great Hurricane of 1935 to "Old Seven's" recent renovation that has been called a tropical "High Line" for all to enjoy.

Register for Century Old Bridge Gets a Makeover

A century ago, it was possible to leave New York's Penn Station nightly on the "Havana Special" and arrive in balmy Miami, Florida 36 hours later. That same train would then travel 156 miles due south headed for Key West on the "Key West Extension", a vision that was conceived and completed by Henry Flagler, a name synonymous with numerous Florida landmarks and even a state county. Travelers could gaze in awe at the spectacle of nature on each side of them, a mere 18 feet below, as the train slowly meandered on its way to Key West. The Seven Mile Bridge, arguably one of the most impressive parts of the train line, succumbed to a devastating Category 5 Hurricane in 1935. The railroad was never rebuilt; instead a highway for cars now connects the Keys. The section known as the Old Seven Mile Bridge was destined to close permanently until a massive renovation project has returned vigor and vitality to this now famous fishing pier and walking route, which some have compared to New York City's High Line.

About the Presenter

Australian-born Tony Perrotett has travelled the world working as a correspondent and writer for numerous publications. He has covered the Shining Path war in Peru, drug running in Columbia and several military rebellions in Argentina. Perrottet is the author of six books on travel, the most recently, ¡Cuba Libre!: Che, Fidel and the Improbable Revolution that Changed World History. He is a regular television guest on The History Channel, where he has spoken about everything from the Crusades to the birth of disco. From his current home in the East Village of Manhattan, he has continued to "commute" to Iceland, Tierra del Fuego, Beijing, Tasmania and Zanzibar, while contributing to international publications including Smithsonian MagazineThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal MagazineCondé Nast TravelerEsquireOutsideAfar and The (London) Sunday Times.

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